When you think of drunk driving, you probably think about getting behind the wheel of a truck or car. You can get in trouble for driving any vehicle, though, even things like all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or off-road vehicles. In most states, it’s illegal to get behind the wheel of any motor vehicle while intoxicated.
In some states, there are separate charges for those caught drunk while driving off-road. You may even face different charges depending on if you’re on public or private land. In most cases, though, your DUI is treated identically to being behind the wheel of a car or truck. You may lose your license, face heavy fines or have to go to DUI school. An ignition interlock device might become necessary in your primary vehicle, even though you weren’t driving it when you were caught intoxicated.
There is one thing to consider that could help in your defense. If you were on private property at the time when you were arrested, you may have a good chance of having the DUI charge dropped. There is always a question as to whether or not the officer had the right to be on private property. For instance, if you own a farm and are driving your ATV while drinking on your property, there’s really no reason for the officer to be there. If your property isn’t accessible by the public, it would be hard for the officer to convince the court that he was legally arresting you on your own property.
It’s not always easy to know who’s right or wrong in these cases. Your attorney can help you by reviewing your case and discussing ways to defend your rights.
Source: FindLaw, “What Are the Penalties for DUI on an ATV or While Off-Roading?,” George Khoury, Esq., accessed Dec. 15, 2017