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Can Someone be Convicted of DUI Following ATV Accident in Illinois?

Most DUI charges arise out of the use of cars, trucks, and SUVs on public highways. DUI statutes are not always limited to the operation of standard vehicles, though, but often apply to the use of any motor vehicle on a public road. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling, in which a man was charged with DUI manslaughter after a crash that occurred when he was operating an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on a highway with a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit. In many states, including Illinois, the laws are similar, and a person can be charged for operating an ATV while intoxicated. If you are charged with a DUI crime, it is advisable to meet with a knowledgeable Illinois DUI defense lawyer to assess your potential defenses.

The Florida DUI Conviction Arising Out of ATV Use

Reportedly, a Florida appellate court recently upheld the DUI manslaughter conviction of a man whose son died following an accident involving an ATV. It appears that the man was riding an ATV on a public road with his minor son on the back when it fell into a ditch. The man was able to return the ATV to an upright position, and he and his son were sitting on the ATV when it was struck by another motorist. The man suffered injuries in the collision, and his son tragically died.

Allegedly, testing revealed that the man’s blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit. He was subsequently charged with DUI with property damage and DUI manslaughter. During the trial, the defendant argued that there was inadequate evidence to show that he was physically in control of the ATV at the time of the accident, but he was convicted as charged. He appealed; however, his convictions were affirmed on appeal.

Illinois’ DUI Law

Under Illinois law, a person can be charged with a DUI for physically controlling or driving any vehicle within the State, with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. A person can also be charged with DUI for operating or driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or any other intoxicating compound or drug, to a degree that renders the individual incapable of driving safely.

While the Illinois DUI statute does not directly refer to ATVs, it states a person can be charged with DUI for operating “any vehicle” while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Other Illinois laws, though, define ATVs as motor vehicles that are not specifically intended to be used on highways. Thus, a person can be charged with DUI for using an ATV while intoxicated in Illinois.

Meet with a Trusted DUI attorney in Illinois

DUI crimes are not limited to the operation of cars but can arise if a person is believed to have driven another motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. If you are accused of a DUI crime, it is prudent to meet with an attorney to determine your options. Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a capable Illinois DUI defense attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you to seek a favorable outcome. You can contact Mr. Harvatin by calling 217.525.0520 or using the online form to set up a meeting.

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