With winter approaching, Buffalo area snowmobilers should be aware that it is not only illegal to operate a snowmobile on a street while under the influence of alcohol, but also on public trails and even the private property of another person.
For first time offenders, New York’s Snowmobiling While Intoxicated laws largely mirror its laws for automobiles, although there is no driver’s license penalty and the potential fines and jail time are somewhat lower for offenses involving snowmobiles.
New York State has laws making it an offense to operate either a motor vehicle or a snowmobile while impaired by alcohol.
It is also a misdemeanor to operate either type of vehicle while intoxicated, impaired by drugs, or with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater.
For automobiles, however, there are additional potential charges that do not exist for snowmobiles.
Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated per se is a misdemeanor that requires proof of a blood alcohol content exceeding .18% which carries more serious penalties.
It applies to automobile operators only. Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child is a felony that may only be charged when an automobile driver has a child fifteen years of age or younger in the car.
Automobile drivers may also be charged with the misdemeanor offense of Driving While Impaired by the Combination of Alcohol and Drugs.
The laws surrounding snowmobiles has no equivalent regulation encompassing the combination of both alcohol and drugs.
While snowmobile operators are not subject to some of the enhanced charges available when an intoxicated driver is in a car, they still should be aware that driving under the influence of alcohol may carry serious penalties.
If you need help following an alcohol-related arrest, call us at 716-542-5444.