Can You Get a DWI if You are Not in a Car?
Many people wonder if they can be charged with a DUI for operating a vehicle other than their car while intoxicated. The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of vehicle. Obviously, it is not a wise decision to operate any vehicle while intoxicated. However, Minnesota statutes clearly indicate the types of vehicles that, if operated while under the influence, could lead to a DUI.
DUI Charges Related to Various Moving Vehicles
According to Minnesota bicycle laws, one cannot receive a DUI for riding their bike on the road while intoxicated. However, other charges may be taken into consideration, such as reckless driving.
In order to be charged, someone would have to operate their bicycle in a way that brings danger to others. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor level offense. In most cases, however, reckless driving mainly pertains to motor vehicles.
Charges related to operating vehicles such as an ATV while under the influence will likely be much more serious than those involving a bicycle. Contrary to bicycle laws, state driving laws strictly prohibit the operation of any motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are four degrees of DWI charges. A first-degree DWI can occur if one has received three or more DWI’s within the past ten years, a prior first-degree charge, or a prior felony conviction for criminal vehicular homicide. The consequences are severe and can include a fine up to $14,000 and a jail sentence of up to seven years.
A fourth degree DWI is for first offenses in a ten-year period. A DWI in the fourth degree may be accompanied by a fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail time of up to 90 days. First-offense DWI charges for operating a vehicle such as an ATV, for example, include up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Depending on the severity of the offense, the charge may be upgraded to a gross misdemeanor or felony, in some cases.
State driving laws also prohibit an individual from operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. No matter the type of motor vehicle that the DWI occurs in, the penalties for a DWI are very similar and include the loss of your driving privileges. It is not legal to operate any motor vehicle while high on drugs or drunk. Motor vehicles include mopeds, dirt bikes, four wheelers, side by side vehicles, snowmobiles, and any other vehicle that is self-propelled, according to Minnesota law.
A Skilled DWI Attorney Could Answer Your Questions
If you are being charged with a DWI, you are in need of legal representation, as penalties can be severe if the case is not defended correctly. Do not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable attorney at BK Law Group.