Let’s say one day you decide to strap two long, wooden planks to your shoes as you are standing at the top of a snowy mountain in Colorado. The fun of sliding down that snow is almost too much to take; some would say you’re even intoxicated with the possibilities ahead! For most of us, just seeing the words “intoxicated” and “skiing” seems like a bad mix, and that’s before we even start bringing up alcohol. If you think that shot of whiskey is worth the risk before skiing, are you willing to put your money where your mouth is?
Skiing while intoxicated is dangerous, period, and a crime in Colorado. The thrill of skiing comes from the possible speeds and the maneuvering of the body as you slide down the side of a mountain. Just like when you drink and drive, when you drink and ski, your reflexes and judgment are affected. Your depth perception is compromised, as is your judgment in general. Plus, the altitude will make that alcohol hit you harder than normal. What may seem like a great time to show off as you jump from the ski lift can turn into a new adventure in the back of an ambulance – and all from skiing while intoxicated.
Because of the danger to you, and to anyone in your path, Colorado has Skiing While Intoxicated laws that prohibit that drinking/skiing cocktail. You won’t face the same penalties as a DUI in Colorado, like an ignition interlock requirement or substance abuse treatment evaluation, but you will be fined around $1,000. You could also be banned from your favorite skiing resort.
Avoiding a “Ski-U-I” is as easy as avoiding a DUI in Colorado. Only drink alcohol when you know you will have plenty of time to process it before gearing up for your next ski adventure. Or, wait until you’ve finished your final run, and celebrate safely by the fire with your favorite drink, surrounded by those who are happy to see you in one piece and enjoying your ski time responsibly.