Jail over fatal Tas birthday party crash

A 26-year-old man will spend up to three years in jail for an "alcohol-fuelled" buggy crash that killed his friend at birthday celebrations in rural Tasmania.

Thomas Rowlands was sentenced on Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and driving above the alcohol limit following the crash at Ouse in October, 2021.

Hayden Kennedy, 18, was a passenger in the Polaris buggy when Rowlands lost control on the bend of a gravel forestry road and rolled.

The buggy collided with a tree stump. Mr Kennedy died at the scene.

Police investigations found the buggy was being driven at 96km/h, in excess of the 80km/h speed limit. It was not meant to be driven on tracks at more than 40km/h.

Justice Michael Brett said Rowlands' blood-alcohol level was likely more than three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Neither of the pair, who were celebrating the birthday of Mr Kennedy's cousin, was wearing a helmet as required.

"Clearly you should not have been driving the vehicle, or any vehicle at all," Justice Brett told the Supreme Court of Tasmania in Hobart.

"This entire episode ... (was) completely unnecessary and avoidable."

He said although the "alcohol-fuelled joy ride" was out of character and Rowlands was truly remorseful, no amount of regret would restore Mr Kennedy to his loved ones.

"This impact is profound and permanent," Justice Brett said.

He described Rowlands as a highly motivated and successful individual who was otherwise a person of good character.

However, Justice Brett said it was a "serious example" of dangerous driving at excessive speed and without regard to conditions.

Rowlands will be eligible for parole after serving 18 months of his three-year jail term. He was also fined $400 because the buggy was unregistered.