Is It Possible to Get a DUI on an ATV?
When people think of driving under the influence, they picture a vehicle of some sort. Typically, thoughts turn to a car or truck. People may have read the odd story of someone being charged with DUI while driving a tractor or boat, sometimes even a bicycle, but these stories are few and far between. Many don’t realize that a vehicle, as defined by law, covers a wide range of motorized and non-motorized equipment and machinery.
ATV riding is a popular pastime in Georgia and elsewhere. People ride ATVs as a leisure activity, and hunters use them for quick, versatile transportation. Many think nothing of having an adult beverage or two and operating a recreational vehicle. Unfortunately, this can be a mistake. In Georgia, operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol is a crime. That means, according to Georgia law, that you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances and previous charges.
Public Versus Private Property
Because police are more likely to patrol public property, that is where you are most likely to get a DUI on an ATV. However, riding while inebriated is just as illegal — and dangerous — on private property. No matter where you are caught riding, you can be charged with a DUI if you’ve been drinking.
The penalties for operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are the same as if the person was operating a typical vehicle. The fact that the ATV is not a car makes no difference in the eyes of the law. A person convicted of the crime will face fines, jail time and more. Being convicted of DUI, even while riding an ATV, can have lifelong consequences.
In general, if it moves and you will be riding on a public roadway, it is a best practice to stay sober. There have been instances of people being arrested for DUI while operating hoverboards, tractors, mopeds, skateboards and more. It is considered dangerous to the person and the public to operate a moving object while under the influence.
Being convicted of a DUI, no matter what you were operating, can have lasting consequences. A conviction could affect your ability to get or maintain a job, enter school or secure housing. Any person charged with driving under the influence should consult with an attorney.
If you have been charged with DUI in Atlanta, whether you were driving an ATV or a passenger vehicle, reach out to our team. We will help you schedule a convenient appointment during which we will review the details of your case at no cost to you. Let us help you decide the best course of action for you and your family. Call us today to schedule your appointment.