Maybe it’s the whole ‘après ski’ culture that makes people associate drinking with snow sports. If you go to any ski hill you’ll find hundreds of people in the bars and nightclubs after a long day on the slopes, and the same goes for snowmobilers. If you drink after skiing, boarding, or sledding and you don’t drive, no one should get hurt. But if you drink during snow sports, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up injuring yourself or someone else.
Did you know it’s almost as dangerous to drink and ski or board as it is to drink and drive? You end up cruising at speeds up to 30 mph, but you don’t have a car to protect you in the event of a crash. With snowmobiling, it’s a bit different. You can reach speeds over 100 mph. If you crash into something at that speed, you’re bound to injure or kill yourself or someone else!
That’s what one Ontario man found out when he came upon a group of police officers who had stopped some snowmobilers near a trail. Instead of stopping for the officers, he crashed straight into one of them. The officer was OK, but the man who hit him is facing some serious penalties – he was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, driving while impaired, and driving with over 80 mgs of alcohol in his blood. Odds are this wasn’t his first impaired driving conviction either, because he was also charged with driving with no insurance and driving a snowmobile while suspended.
For his Ontario impaired driving charge, he immediately received a 90-day driver’s license suspension and must appear in court for further penalties. According to Ontario impaired driving laws, he’ll pay fines, lose his license for a longer period of time, and must install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle he drives except the snowmobile. That will have to sit until next season, because you can’t install an ignition interlock on a snowmobile.
The first day of spring has come and gone, but people are still hitting the hills and mountains for snow sports. Stay safe when on the snow and don’t drink when skiing, boarding, or operating a snowmobile.