Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle

Keys and DrinkWith all the advertising in the media about impaired driving everyone should know not to drive their car or truck while under the influence. But what about other conveyances?

There are quite a few ways to run afoul of the impaired legislation. Section 253 of the Criminal Code starts out with “Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle, or vessel, or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft...while...impaired by alcohol or a drug.” Lets examine the motor vehicle portion of that. A motor vehicle is defined as a vehicle that is drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than muscular power, but does not include a vehicle of a railway that operates on rails.

A moment of thought can come up with all sorts of motor vehicles. Forklifts, snowmobiles, golf carts, mopeds, earthmovers, skidders, backhoes, lawn mowers, tractors, combines, electric wheelchairs and more. The list is only limited by our ability to put a motor on it.

A person might be tempted to comment that most of the examples in the previous paragraph don’t normally operate on a highway. Well, neither do vessels or aircraft and it is an offence to operate them while impaired. In fact, being on a highway doesn’t even enter into the picture. It is possible to be convicted for doing circles in your backyard on a snowmobile in January or zooming down the fairway in a golf cart in June if you are impaired.

A closer reading of the section will even show that a person can be convicted of impaired operation with a blood alcohol content less than .08!

If you are going to consume alcohol or take prescription or non-prescription drugs consider carefully before you operate any conveyance with a motor.

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