Myth: ATV is allowable alternative when license revoked for DUI

All terrain vehicles, or ATVs, by definition have certain innate features that all a rider to go almost anywhere. This, of course, doesn’t mean that they are legally allowed anywhere in West Virginia. It is a common misconception, and it isn’t the only one where ATVs are concerned.

Another misconception is that these vehicles are a legitimate alternative mode of transportation after a driver’s license has been suspended or revoked due to a DUI. Whether an individual in West Virginia knew the truth about these two issues or not, they were the basis of two of the several misdemeanor and felony charges he now faces related to a drunk driving arrest.

A Real Life Example

Trooper B.D. Gillespie, of the West Virginia State Police Welch detachment said that he first noticed the ATV on Route 52, a place where restricted vehicles often travel -- a misdemeanor operating an ATV on a roadway. Next, the officer noticed that the vehicle was traveling at speed higher than the posted limit – a misdemeanor speeding offense.

When the officer attempted to pull the ATV over, the driver didn’t immediately stop, which led to a felony charge for fleeing a trooper while DUI. When the vehicle stopped about one mile later, the officer said he noticed an odor of alcohol, which prompted the breath test and the DUI charges.

Further investigation determined that the man was driving without valid insurance and on a revoked license, which was the third time he was faced with this last offense. All in all, the man was charged with six misdemeanors and three felonies for the singular recreational vehicle incident.

Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, “Man busted for DUI on ATV,” Samantha Perry, May 20, 2014

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