It’s a fact that there’s snow in Canada. In some parts of the country there is a lot of it, and the people who live in Canada have always enjoyed snow sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Although it’s fun to hit the slopes or the trail, there’s always an element of risk involved with snow sports, from skiing back-country to unfamiliar trails on your sled, but you really up your risk of injury or death if you combine snow sports with drinking.
Drinking after snow sports is almost as popular as the sports themselves, and along with the usual après ski drinks comes the possibility of drinking and driving. But you can’t be charged with drinking and driving if you’re riding a snowmobile, can you? Take a look at this public service announcement (PSA) for the answer.
Under the Canadian Criminal Code, a snowmobile is considered a motorized vehicle, and although it might seem a bit unusual to be pulled over on your snowmobile, you can and will be charged with impaired driving if you’re caught driving one after drinking. The penalties for impaired driving on any type of motorized vehicle in Ontario include fines, license suspensions, and an interlock device in any vehicle you drive for one year.
According to Ontario’s Old Hastings Snow Riders club, alcohol is involved in over 70% of snowmobiling fatalities, so if you’re stopped and charged with impaired driving on your snowmobile, you’re getting off lucky. That means you were stopped before you could cause serious injury to yourself or others with you while drinking and riding.
Because you drive snowmobiles into remote areas, you won’t be able to receive help quickly if you crash. Speed is also a factor on snowmobiles, because they aren’t considered a real vehicle to some and they don’t have speed limits on most trails, people pull the throttle without concern for what could happen.
Everyone loves to get out and enjoy the snow in the winter, but if you’re going to be snowmobiling as your main mode of transportation, skip the après and don’t drink and ride.