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Can I Be Charged With DUI While Operating an ATV?

Posted on in DUI/DWI

Campbell County ATV DUI defense lawyer

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a popular form of off-road transportation for those looking to have fun in recreational areas, especially during warm weather conditions. These vehicles are barred from sharing the roadway with cars and trucks. However, they require a driver’s license just like automobiles in order to drive them legally. Also, if someone decides to drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel of an ATV, he or she can be charged with a DUI. If the impaired driver causes an accident, it can result in serious consequences, such as jail time and fines.

What Are the Tennessee DUI Punishments?

In Tennessee, ATVs are allowed to drive in specified parks, forest areas, hiking trails that permit ATVs, and recreational areas. These are all public zones, so drivers of ATVs are expected to be mindful of the safety of everyone on the trails, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

Driving under the influence is reckless driving that puts not only the driver but also those around them in danger. All ATVs in Tennessee must be registered and have license plates installed before they can be driven. Therefore, they carry the same punishments given to drivers of cars for the following offenses:

  • 1st DUI offense: Punishable by a prison sentence of at least two days and as much as 11 months, license revocation of one year, and fines of up to $1,500.

  • 2nd DUI offense: Punishable by a prison sentence of up to 11 months, fines between $600 and $3,500, and license revocation of two years.

  • 3rd DUI offense: Punishable by up to 11 months in prison, fines between $1,100 and $10,000, and license revocation of six years.

  • 4th and subsequent DUI offenses: Considered Class E felonies, punishable by one year in prison, fines between $3,000 and $15,000, and license revocation of eight years.

If an accident occurs as a result of an ATV operator who is under the influence, the driver of the ATV will be considered at fault. He or she can face additional consequences, including paying monetary compensation for medical bills and property damage to any injured parties.

What Are Other ATV Violations?

ATVs have other restrictions according to the state in which they are being driven. In Tennessee, ATVs can be driven during daytime hours only, from one-half hour after sunrise to one-half hour before sunset. Drivers will be breaking the law if they:

  • Ride on land that is owned by someone else without first obtaining permission.

  • Operate the ATV without the headlights and taillights illuminated.

  • Damage any natural resources while riding in a State Park.

People who wish to drive an ATV must first educate themselves on the rules of the road. They must also make sure their vehicle is in proper working order, and the driver and any passengers must wear helmets at all times.

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

Operating any type of off-road vehicle such as an ATV may seem easier than driving a car. However, it is illegal to operate these vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges while operating an ATV, the penalties can be serious. The first step you should take is to hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of William F. Evans. Our experienced attorneys will carefully review the circumstances of your case and build a strong defense on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with a Campbell County DUI defense lawyer, call 423-449-7980 today.




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