Many have the misconception that you can only get charged with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) for operating a car under the influence. There are, however, several other vehicles for which you can be charged with a DWI.
Below, our Minneapolis defense attorneys discuss the vehicles that are illegal to operate while intoxicated.
#1. Motor Vehicles
The most obvious vehicle for which you may receive a DWI is a motor vehicle. This includes cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, and more.
In all such instances, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.08%. It is important to note that this legal limit is stricter for commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicle drivers’ BAC may not exceed 0.04%. Additionally, those under the age of 21 may not drive with any alcohol in their system.
Every state, as well as the federal government, have laws that punish those who operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Individuals may be charged with Boating Under the Influence/Boating While Intoxicated (BUI/BWI) for:
- Being impaired by alcohol or drugs to an extent that they do not “possess that clearness of intellect and that control … that they otherwise would have”
- Having a BAC greater than .08%
#3. ATVs and Snowmobiles
The state of Minnesota categorizes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles as motor vehicles. As such, it is illegal to operate either vehicle while intoxicated. The same laws apply—an operator’s BAC may be no greater than 0.08%.
What Are the Penalties for a DWI in Minnesota?
The penalties for a DWI conviction can be life-changing. The severity of the punishment depends on the egregiousness of the offense.
- The typical penalty for a first-time offender is potential jail time and loss of driver’s license for a minimum of 30 days up to a year.
- First-time DWI offenders arrested at twice the legal limit and above, as well as second-time DWI offenders, will be required to use an ignition interlock device or lose driving privileges ranging from one to two years. There is also a higher risk of serving more time in jail.
- DWI offenders with three or more offenses in a 10-year period will be required to use an ignition interlock device for a period of three to six years and could be sent to prison.
Additionally, those convicted of a DWI may face significant fines which vary based on the severity of the offense, but can be as high as $14,000.
What Are the Defenses for a DWI?
If you are accused of a DWI, keep in mind that there are many different methods a skilled attorney can use in court to cast doubt on the charges. These strategies may include the following:
- Question the accuracy of testing equipment.
- Deny the defendant was under the influence at the time of their arrest.
- Challenge the police officers’ purpose for pulling the driver over.
Although it may seem tempting to undergo this process on your own, you could not make a worse decision for your future. Entrusting your DWI case to a seasoned professional who is familiar with the law and the tactics used by prosecutors is the most effective method to defend your rights.
Accused of a DWI? We’re Here to Help
If you have been charged with a DWI or BWI in Minnesota, our Minneapolis defense attorneys are prepared to defend your rights. Our team is backed by over a century of experience, and we’re here to inform you of your rights, protect your best interests, and provide the legal advocacy you need to pursue the best possible resolution.
Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. today at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a consultation with our team.