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Can I Get a DUI While Snowboarding?

If you live in Los Angeles or Orange County, you’re not far from some of the best skiing in Southern California. With Mountain High Ski Resort, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit Mountain Resort, Mammoth Mountain and Lake Tahoe/Heavenly Mountain, you can be up in the mountains skiing and snowboarding in no time at all.

Much like boating and fishing, it’s common for Californians to have a few drinks before they hit the slopes on their snowboards and skis. So, the question is, “Can I get a DUI for skiing or snowboarding while under the influence of alcohol?”

If you were caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more at a local ski resort, can you be arrested for DUI right then and there?

Snowboarding, Skiing, and California DUI

We have good news for you, you will NOT get a DUI for snowboarding or skiing under the influence. That’s because in California the Vehicle Code specifically says that you need a vehicle, something that can be driven on a highway, for example, a vehicle or even a bicycle.

Something such as skis or a snowboard are excluded because they are moved by human power; a snowboard or a set of skis do not qualify as a “vehicle” under California’s Vehicle Code.

Keep in mind though that while it’s common to drink before snowboarding, it’s still possible to get so drunk that you run right into a tree, which can be deadly. In that case, it’s wise to watch how much you drink before hitting the slopes.

What about snowmobiles?

While you can’t get a DUI for snowboarding, you can get a DUI for operating a snowmobile while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Snowmobiles are considered to be “off-highway vehicles” or OHVs, just like ATVs and RUVs.

You can be arrested for DUI while driving a snowmobile because California’s DUI laws apply to OHV vehicles, whether they are on or off the highway. So, even if you’re miles from the nearest road, a park ranger can still arrest you for DUI.

Learn more about California’s snowmobile laws here.

Arrested for DUI while riding a snowmobile or another OHV? Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation with one of OC’s top DUI firms!