Should You Drink While Skiing? Facts And Safety Info

Skiing can be exhilarating, and the thrill of sliding down a hill at top speed is second to none. Skiing is also a great recreational activity, perfect for group bonding and weekend getaways. That’s why some people take it a step further by having a few drinks before skiing, which has raised questions about the safety of such conduct. 

It’s illegal to ski when drunk, as intoxication tends to cloud people’s judgment, putting them and those around them in danger. However, having a glass of wine before skiing is not terrible, but still might qualify as a petty offense, capable of attracting a fine of up to $1000. 

That’s not all, as you still need to learn whether it’s illegal to drink while skiing, whether you’re allowed to drink at a skiing resort, and how much alcohol consumption is dangerous while skiing, which you will learn if you read on.

Is It Safe to Drink While Skiing?

We have all made those last-minute decisions after a few drinks to engage in some unplanned activities.   While to an experienced skier, it might not sound like a problem, too much alcohol would cloud your judgement, and not to mention interference with your physical reflexes and response time. 

Accidents are common to sober people on a skiing hill, and the likelihood of the accident happening goes up once you get in a few drinks. Skiing requires physical and mental concentration, something that tends to go away once you’re drunk. 

How Much Drinking is Too Much for Skiing?

A glass of wine or two might not be too much to handle for many as they can ski comfortably in this condition. However, the legal requirements indicate that a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 is considered drunk. 

Here is how much alcohol you need to get to that blood alcohol concentration:

  • Men require at least three glasses of wine to get this level of blood alcohol concentration.
  • Women only need two glasses to get the same. 

However, the type of alcohol you consume will also determine how fast you can get to this percentage, as some, like beer, have a 5% alcohol volume. The only way to make sure you remain within the legal limits of drinking and still ski is to keep your drinking below two glasses of any alcohol you consume.

How long does skiers typically go skiing?

Do Skiing Resorts Allow Drinking and Skiing?

Skiing resorts have bars and restaurants serving alcohol to interested guests. However, they don’t condone drunk skiing, which puts other guests in imminent danger of accidents and injuries. Most of them don’t allow drinking guests on the hill or provide them with skiing gear.

Can you go skiing with a sprained ankle?

Some guests, however, find loopholes of sneaking alcohol to the skiing hill after they have been cleared to ski. Such guests, although rare, end up endangering their safety and those of other guests skiing. If they’re detected to behave unethically, they’re often taken from the site until they sober up. If they misbehave, the management would have no option but to report them to the authorities. 

Skiing resorts typically have warnings around the bars and near the skiing hill about drunk skiing. They mention all the dangers one might encounter if they disregard such warnings, ensuring that every guest knows the regulations. Some would even have staff members reminding the guests of such regulations to try and avoid any lawsuit should accidents occur.

Besides bodily injuries, here are some dangers of skiing while drunk:

  • Passing out on freezing snow and suffering hyperthermia 
  • Losing your way back to the resort
  • Damage to property
  • Verbal and physical confrontation
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Jail time or fines

The list is endless of what could go wrong once a drunk person is allowed to ski. Above all, the reputation of the skiing resort will forever be damaged if there is a situation resulting from a drunk person being allowed to ski. This would affect their business, with most of them unable to recover from the damage. 

Final Thoughts

Skiing is a fun activity that leaves lasting memories. The adrenaline rush of sliding down the hill with nothing to protect you but skiing gear is unbelievable. While a little alcohol might not be as dangerous, it gets complicated and irresponsible when you exceed the legally allowed amount of alcohol. Taking three glasses for men and two for women might make you too drunk to make a better judgment. The type of alcohol will also determine how fast you can get drunk. Skiing resorts allow drinking but not drunk skiing.

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