We are surrounded by motor vehicles throughout the year: boats in the summer, all-terrain vehicles in the fall, snowmobiles in the winter, and scooters in the spring. For some, these vehicles are purely recreational; for others, they’re required for work. However, regardless of their uses, they all have something in common: if convicted of a DWI, driving penalties can apply to each.
Minnesota DWI & Motor Vehicles
Motor vehicles under the DWI definition include:
- All-terrain vehicles;
- Certain motorized scooters.
As you can see, the definition of “motor vehicle” by Minnesota DWI law is very inclusive, but why does this matter? In short, it matters because if convicted of a DWI, your ability to drive these vehicles will be impacted.
Minnesota DWI & Driver’s Licenses
When people are convicted of DWI in Minnesota, they lose their driver’s license for a predetermined period depending on two things:
- The circumstances of the DWI conviction in question; and
- The convict’s prior DWI convictions.
However, regardless of the circumstances of the DWI and a person’s prior DWI convictions, people convicted of a Minnesota DWI will have their license revoked for at least 30 days.
In the past, a driver’s license revocation impacted the legality of someone driving a car, truck, or other similar motor vehicles only. However, on August 1, 2018, Minnesota legislature enacted a law that closed a loophole in regards to license revocations affecting all vehicles. Under the new law, a license revocation makes it illegal for those convicted to use any motor vehicle defined in Minnesota’s DWI law.
In other words, a DWI conviction makes it illegal for the convicted to use any motor vehicle while their license is revoked.
Motor Vehicles & Minnesota DWIs
We’ve established that Minnesota DWI convictions result in revoked driver’s licenses, and we’ve also established that the convicted cannot use any motor vehicle with a revoked license under the new Minnesota DWI law. However, there’s an additional facet of this law: driving any motor vehicle while impaired can result in a Minnesota DWI.
When some people drink too much in Minneapolis, they get the idea to rent an electric scooter to get home without worrying about a DWI charge. However, under the new law, riding an electric scooter while intoxicated could result in a DWI arrest. Furthermore, the police can also charge people with DWIs when they operate boats, drive all-terrain vehicles, or drive snowmobiles while intoxicated.
It’s important to note that all aggravating DWI factors will apply to someone’s charges regardless of the motor vehicle used. Therefore, if someone is convicted of a DWI while boating, his or her prior DWI convictions will increase the penalties for the boating DWI conviction.
In other words, the motor vehicle used in the DWI in question doesn’t impact the potential penalties for the accused. In the eyes of Minnesota law, someone driving an electric scooter while intoxicated is just as bad as someone driving a car or truck while intoxicated.
Get Experienced Criminal Defense Now
A Minnesota DWI conviction is more severe than ever before because it affects a person’s ability to drive any motor vehicle while a license is revoked. However, contrary to popular belief, the accused can fight against DWI charges and win with the right representation.
Caplan & Tamburino has helped thousands of clients fight against their DWI charges, so we know what it takes to defend your rights. Call (612) 444-5020 now for a free consultation for your case!