SWI, Snowmobiling While Intoxicated, is a DWI charge given to a person caught driving a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
The consequences of an SWI offense are almost identical to the consequences of a DWI offense. A first time violation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and/or a $1000 fine, and loss of snowmobiling privileges for a year.
SWI Aggravating Factors
SWI is an enhanceable offense. Any of the following aggravating factors will result in a higher degree of SWI:
- A prior DWI violation in the past 10 years
- A blood alcohol concentration of .16 or higher
- A child under age 16 on the snowmobile at the time of the offense
If any of these elements are involved, the offender will receive a higher degree of SWI (gross misdemeanor or felony) and could incur harsher penalties. The following are punishments for a gross misdemeanor SWI violation:
- A maximum fine of $3,000
- An extended period of mandatory jail time
- Long-term monitoring programs
- Chemical Dependency Assessments
- Loss of driver’s license privileges
- Plate impoundment of all motor vehicles owned by the offender
- Forfeiture of the snowmobile involved in the incident
If a person has three or more SWI or DWI convictions in the past 10 years, or has a prior felony conviction, they can be sentenced to:
- Three to seven years in jail
- Up to a $14,000 fine
- Extended periods of license revocation
Minnesota Drunk Driving Attorney
An experienced Minnesota SWI defense lawyer can help reduce these charges. No matter what degree of SWI you are charged with, a criminal defense attorney can develop a strategy for defense that will ultimately lead to a favorable outcome.