Operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a serious offense, even if you are operating an off-road vehicle. If you have been arrested and charged for driving an ATV/UTV while intoxicated, you are going to need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to build your defense for you. While you may not have thought much of it because you were not getting behind the wheel of a traditional vehicle, operating any type of vehicle after you have consumed alcoholic beverages is never a good thing to do.
Is It Against the Law to Operate an ATV/UTV While Intoxicated?
When operating an ATV or UTV, there are certain rules that should be followed. In fact, motorists are supposed to wear protective gear, such as eyewear, boots, and gloves. Off-road vehicles are designed specifically for dirt roads and are not supposed to be used on paved roads. In addition to these rules, it is important to avoid operating such vehicles after consuming alcoholic beverages, even if you have only had one or two drinks.
The reason it is against the law to operate these vehicles while intoxicated is due to the lack of proper judgment made by motorists and the numerous risks that are involved. Someone who has had too much to drink is not going to be able to react as quickly as someone who is sober. Your judgment may be fully impaired, making it difficult for you to maneuver around on the road without crashing into people or other things around you, such as trees, bushes, and even walls.
When your judgment is impaired, you have a greater risk of getting into a serious accident that could lead to major injuries and possibly even death. If you get into an accident with other motorists, you could cause those motorists and their passengers to suffer from serious injuries too. If you have had too much to drink, the best thing to do is avoid getting on your off-road vehicle until you are completely sober.
What are the Consequences in the State of Maryland?
The consequences that come from operating an ATV or UTV while intoxicated in the state of Maryland will vary tremendously because every situation is different. Some of the factors that are considered before a punishment is handed out would include:
- Your location when you were pulled over for riding while intoxicated;
- Any injuries that might have been sustained because you were operating an off-road vehicle while intoxicated;
- Your criminal record and number of DWI offenses you currently have.
If you were riding on a highway while intoxicated and you were pulled over by an officer, you may have been arrested on the spot because you failed a sobriety test. However, the consequence for your action may be as simple as paying a fine and having a mark on your record that claims you were pulled over for driving while intoxicated.
If you got into an accident while on your off-road vehicle and you were intoxicated, you could have more consequences to face, including spending time in jail. If the accident caused another individual to die because of the impact, you could receive a lengthy sentence due to your negligence.
Even if you were not involved in an accident and no one passed away from your negligence, you can still spend time behind bars in the state of Maryland if this is not your first offense. When you are continuously pulled over for operating an off-road vehicle while intoxicated, you can spend days, weeks, or even months in jail. Repeat offenders have a greater chance of receiving lengthier sentences.
Accused of Operating an ATV/UTV While Intoxicated? Hire a Skilled and Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were arrested and charged with operating an ATV/UTV while intoxicated, you are going to need an aggressive and professional legal advocate to represent you and put up a defense for you. Operating any vehicle while intoxicated is considered a serious crime and you may be worried about the repercussions of your actions. If you are looking for an attorney who has experience working on these types of cases, reach out to Fellner Law today. Call our office at 301-265-3557 or message us online to make an appointment for your consultation.