An Illinois man has been charged with DUI after crashing his all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
Timothy P. Ritchie, 40, of McHenry, Illinois was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, careless operation of an ATV, and driving on a revoked license after he rolled his ATV onto himself. Ritchie was attempting to turn his 4-wheeler at an intersection on Sunday afternoon when he lost control of the ATV and it rolled on top of him. Ritchie, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, was rendered unconscious as a result of head injuries. He was flown to a local hospital and on Monday was charged with DUI amongst the other charges.
Although this particular incident happened in another state, someone in California can too be charged with a California DUI for operating an ATV while intoxicated.
For those who take to the dunes on their ATVs, it is not uncommon to pack a cooler of beers as refreshments. To the surprise of many riders, if the beer is consumed before taking to the sand, it could land them in jail on California DUI charges.
For purposes of California DUI law, an ATV is a motor vehicle. As such, drunk drivers of ATVs are subject to the same penalties as those who are arrested for a California DUI in their vehicle.
Does it matter if the drunk ATV driver is not on a public road way? Simply put, no.
Off-road trails and sand dunes are considered public roadways for the purposes of California DUI law. Recall prior posts where I mentioned the California Court of Appeals case of People v. Malvitz. The court concluded that the legislative intent of DUI laws was that they beyond the public roadways to anywhere in California including private off-road trails or dunes.