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If you’re caught operating a snowmobile in the State of Minnesota while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or other hazardous substance, you may be charged with a DUI or DWI, or what is now referred to as SWI, or Snowmobiling While Intoxicated. If you are caught operating your snowmobile while impaired, you may be required to submit to tests by an enforcement officer to determine the presence of these substances. There is a separate additional criminal penalty for refusal to submit to the test requests, and your snowmobiling privileges will be suspended for one year upon refusal. SWI convictions and refusals are recorded on your driver’s license record and may affect your license privileges.
If you’re arrested, consult with a Caplan & Tamburino Law Attorney with experience in Snowmobiling While Intoxicated (SWI) cases. This experience with SWI cases may help you get the favorable outcome possible in the event you’re charged with SWI. Experience can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.
If you are caught operating your snowmobile while impaired, you may be charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony level Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Persons convicted of a misdemeanor will be subject to: up to $1000 fine (plus surcharges); possible jail sentence; and loss of snowmobile operating privileges for one year. In addition to the above misdemeanor penalties, the following gross misdemeanor penalty provisions may apply if the person has any prior DWI violations, has an alcohol concentration of .20 or more, or has a child under 16 years of age with them on the snowmobile:
- up to $3,000 fine
- longer, mandatory jail time
- chemical use assessment and long-term monitoring programs
- loss of motor vehicle driver’s license privileges
- motor vehicle plate impoundment of all motor vehicles owned leased individually or jointly by the person
- forfeiture of the snowmobile, substantially higher fines, and mandatory jail time.
- If a person has three or more DWI convictions or revocations in the last 10 years, or has a prior felony conviction, they can be sentenced to
3-7 years in jail, up to $14,000 fine, or both. Longer license revocations would also be imposed.