There are many recreational snowmobile trails surrounding the Buffalo area, and snowmobile riding is a common winter activity in Western New York.
While some of the penalties are different, a person who chooses to drink and drive cannot avoid being arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense simply because he or she is using a snowmobile instead of a car.
All of the alcohol-related offenses for snowmobilers apply when operating a snowmobile upon a street, highway, public trails, lands, bodies of water, or private property of another.
The specific offenses are set forth in the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law and largely mirror the offenses for other motor vehicles.
The offense of Operating a Snowmobile While Ability Impaired by Alcohol is the snowmobiler’s equivalent to Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol.
It is not considered a criminal offense. It requires proof that the snowmobiler’s mental and physical ability to operate the snowmobile was impaired, to any extent, by alcohol.
The other three possible offenses for snowmobilers – Snowmobiling While Intoxicated, Snowmobiling with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater, and Snowmobiling While Ability Impaired by Drugs – are more serious and are classified as misdemeanors for first time offenders.
They parallel the motor vehicle offenses of Driving While Intoxicated, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or Greater, and Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, respectively, and require the same type of proof.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving while using any type of vehicle, we can help you.
Call us at 716-542-5444 for a legal consultation.