Snowmobiles, Boats and ATV’s

Many people are shocked to discover that it is possible to be arrested for a DWI while driving a recreation vehicle. Many people will combine their favorite boating activity with a couple of beers on a warm sunny day. After all, there is nothing quite like enjoying a day at the lake or river,  getting a tan, and sipping on a refreshing beer in the process. However, this beer could result in a DWI charge. In fact, snowmobile, boats and ATV drivers are more frequently arrested with DWI charges than ever before.

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Snowmobiling, ATV-ing and Boating while Intoxicated

There are over 10,000 lakes to enjoy in Minnesota and a staggering number of boat owners looking to relax on the weekends. Boating while intoxicated is also called BWI and comes with many of the same serious consequences of DWI charges.

Many people look forward to the first glimpse of snow in Minnesota because it means they finally get to ride their snowmobiles.  However, many people are unaware that enjoying that warm glass of rum and eggnog before or during the snowmobile experience could result in a DWI charge. This is also the case with operating an ATV while intoxicated.

The reality is this, if you are caught with a blood concentration level of .08 or higher anywhere in Minnesota while operating any type of recreational vehicle, then you may be arrested and charged with a DWI.  This includes golf carts, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats. Furthermore, these laws are not restricted to the road – they apply to ice, to snow, to lakes, to rivers, and off road.

Recreational DWI Charges and Convictions

Even if this is your first offense, possible consequences include ninety (90) days in jail, a $1,000 fine and the loss of the ability to operate your recreational vehicle for ninety (90) days (in season).

If any aggravating factors are present, you could face gross misdemeanor or felony charges.  Possible aggravating factors include:

  • Operating a boat/ATV/snowmobile with a blood alcohol concentration of .16 or more,
  • A prior conviction for DWI or test refusal in the ten (10) years leading up to, or
  • A passenger under age sixteen (16) on the boat/ATV/snowmobile at the time of the offense.

For those who enjoy spending the weekend out on the lake with their family by their side and a beer in the cooler, BWI charges can not only negatively impact your weekend, but it can also permanently damage your criminal record. Furthermore, those under the age of twenty-one (21) found guilty of drinking and operating a recreational vehicle may face even more serious consequences including license suspension.

If you have been accused of boating, ATV-ing or snowmobiling under the influence, contact the Martindale Hubbell AV Rated Sabby and Reyes Law Firm for a FREE CONSULTATION. Sabby and Reyes Law Firm can help you with your BWI arrest 24 hours a day, 7days a week and can be reached toll free at 1-877-DUI-FIRM , 651-592-3350, or 952-828-9000. Our lawyers are experienced, creative and aggressive trial attorneys committed to getting the best possible case result for each and every client.

Our Minnesota BWI Defense Lawyers represent persons throughout Minnesota including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Twin Cities, Anoka, Apple Valley, Andover, Becker, Big Lake, Blaine, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Champlin, Chanhassen, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Cottage Grove, Crystal, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Elk River, Excelsior, Falcon Heights, Farmington, Forest Lake, Fridley, Golden Valley, Hastings, Hopkins, Hugo, Inver Grove Heights, Lake Elmo, Lakeville, Lino Lakes, Little Canda, Long Lake, Mahtomedi, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Mendota Heights, Mounds View, New Brighton, New Hope, North St. Paul, Oakdale, Plymouth, Prior Lake, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rogers, Roseville, Rosemount, St. Anthony, St. Louis Park, Savage, Shakopee, Shoreview, South St. Paul, Spring Lake Park, Stillwater, Vadnais Heights, West St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Zimmerman, and Woodbury. Including, but not limited to, the counties of Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Anoka County, Wright County, Dakota County, Washington County, Carver County, Scott County, Sherburne County, Isanti County, Chisago County and Stearns County.