One of the perks of chronicling the DUI scene in Canada is finding out how many different vehicles a person can drive drunk in.
Now a bulldozer DUI joins the ranks of unusual Canadian impaired driving incidents. A man was arrested in Gatineau, Québec for driving a bulldozer that, not incidentally, did not belong to him. He was found to be impaired at the time.
Some will chuckle at stories about DUIs on golf carts and riding mowers, but a bulldozer is no laughing matter. The machine in question, a Case 650L, weighs over 7000 kg and has a 3-metre blade. While it is not fast, there are few things that can stop it – not cars, barriers, bridge railings, or lampposts. Imagine someone out of control in a vehicle that can flatten just about anything.
Moreover, bulldozers are not easy to operate. They are unwieldy, have specialized controls, and require a good amount of training to pilot safely. This will involve an apprenticeship and a period as a journeyman. In those courses it is always stressed that it is never safe to operate heavy equipment while under the influence of alcohol.
Had the driver not been apprehended, the dozer could have done serious damage to property, and could have injured people as well. Had he veered into the oncoming lane he would have presented drivers with a lethal traffic hazard.
Québec’s drunk driving laws and the courts will decide the fate of the driver. The important thing is to remember that alcohol can make any vehicle – even non-motor vehicles like bicycles – more dangerous. Even if you’re not in your car, you’re still going to be held responsible if you pilot any vehicle while impaired. Don’t take the chance.