It’s February, and although the tulips are starting to pop out on the West Coast, there are parts of Canada that are still knee deep in snow and freezing winter temperatures. It’s not a great time of the year to get stuck in a snow bank anywhere on the East Coast, and it’s an especially bad time of the year to be an Ontario drunk driver stuck in a snow-filled ditch when the temps are dipping into the -40 Celsius range.
What do you do when you’ve slid off an unfamiliar road, the temperatures are sub-Artic outside, and you’ve been driving drunk? You call the police of course. That’s what a 55-year-old man did near Scarborough when he couldn’t extract himself from the ditch. He called the police, told them he was stuck in a ditch, and that he’d been drinking. Once he was removed from the ditch he was charged with impaired care and control and having care and control of a motor vehicle over 80 (a blood alcohol concentration of .08%.
If you’re an Ontario drunk driver, you could be charged with care and control even if you were just sleeping behind the wheel of a car with the keys in the ignition. As long as the intention to drive is there, you’ll receive the charge, and the penalties are the same as if you were charged with impaired driving.
Obviously this case is a good reminder not to drink and drive, because that could be the reason he slid off the road in first place, but it’s also a reminder to always prepare your vehicle for the weather. Here are a few cold weather tips you can use to stay safe while driving for the rest of this winter:
- Always pack candles, matches, and emergency blankets. Having a small heat source could save you if you’re stuck in your vehicle for a long time
- Never leave the house without tire chains and jumper cables. They could get you out of a bind if you hit a pile of snow or your battery goes dead in the cold
- If you plan on driving in rural areas where there is limited to no cell service, tell someone before you go. That way if you get into trouble due to the weather, someone will be looking for you
Stay safe this winter by always being prepared, and don’t forget that driving sober is the best way to make sure you arrive home safe and sound.