Reed v. Beckett (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
Respondent was driving an unlicensed all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on family-owned farm land when he wrecked the ATV and was injured. At the hospital, tests allegedly showed Respondent’s blood alcohol content was 0.17 percent. The Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles revoked Respondent’s privilege to drive for forty-five days. Respondent appealed, arguing that his license could not be revoked because he was driving the ATV only upon private, family-owned land, and there was no evidence he was driving on a public street or highway. The Office of Administrative Hearings upheld the Commissioner’s revocation order. The circuit court reversed, concluding that because Respondent’s actions occurred solely upon private land, the Commissioner had no jurisdiction to revoke Respondent’s driving privileges. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a person may lose his or her driver’s license if they are found driving a vehicle anywhere within the physical boundaries of the state while under the influence of alcohol, even if the vehicle is driven only upon private property not open to the general public.