New York Snowmobiling While Ability Impaired

Every winter, along with snow and winter holidays, comes winter sports. Skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling are some of the most popular winter sports around, and some of the most fun.  Did you know that while you are having fun out in the snow though, you could potentially face charges if you are impaired by alcohol? If you are impaired by alcohol while snowmobiling, you can face a charge and steep penalties upon conviction. So before you hit the hills for some winter fun, find out what you need to know about Snowmobiling While Ability Impaired (SWAI) below.

In New York, an impaired driver can face DWAI (driving while ability impaired) charges for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of 0.05% to 0.07%. Driving while impaired, sometimes known as “buzzed driving,” brings harsh consequences for the convicted driver, potentially including jail time and a steep fine. DWAI is one of many charges impaired and/or intoxicated drivers can face in New York, along with DWI (driving while intoxicated). Contrary to popular belief, a DWAI or similar charge can apply to those who are operating vehicles other than motor vehicles.

Similar to the DWAI, a SWAI (snowmobiling while ability impaired) applies to a snowmobile driver who operates the snowmobile while impaired by alcohol.  Like a DWAI, your blood alcohol content level can prove that you are legally impaired. If your blood alcohol content level is between 0.05% and 0.07% while operating the snowmobile, you can be arrested and charged with a SWAI. Other evidence can also be used to prove your impairment by alcohol. If impaired, you can face a SWAI charge regardless of whether you are on private or public property.

What are the penalties for a SWAI? Upon conviction, you could face any of the following:

  • Maximum fine of $350
  • Up to 15 days in jail
  • Suspension of snowmobiling privileges for 6 months

Another charge related to SWAI is SWAI-Drugs.  This charge applies to snowmobilers who operate their vehicles under the influence of a drug (other than alcohol). Under New York law, it does not matter whether the drug is legal to possess, illegal to possess or ingest, or whether the drug is prescribed or not. Upon conviction of SWAI-Drugs, a snowmobiler can face a misdemeanor conviction resulting in a permanent criminal record, a maximum fine of $500, up to 90 days in jail, and a 12-month suspension of snowmobiling privileges.

Because of the potentially severe consequences, your first step after being charged with a SWAI should be to call an experienced SWAI attorney. You will need an attorney who understands the law, and has experience working in the system to defend operators charged with SWAI.  If you or someone you love has been charged with a Snowmobiling While Ability Impaired, call the experienced lawyers at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys immediately. Our attorneys have helped thousands of New York drivers face SWAIs and similar charges. We will aggressively defend you in court, and will strive to ensure your best possible results. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.  Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  Attorney Advertising.