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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 2:40 pm 
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Splake wrote:
Having an open alcohol container in a public place has, I believe, been against the law in Ontario for as long as I know. That covers walking down the street or canoeing on a lake. Like it or not, I think that particular prohibition has been around for a long time. I think the Liquor License Act charges probably fell under this one.


Open container & drunk in public charges have been around since the first alcohol legislation. Generally ignored for the most part except for the most egregious circumstances now that Ontario is a deficit laden have-not province bright bunnies are combing through old legislation and laying fines with a vengeance. It's all about the quotas and the cash, to the point where the police in some areas are idling outside of bars and fining intoxicated patrons walking from the door of the bar to a waiting cab.

We're not just talking about fines, a $150 open container citation is an annoyance. Impaired paddling STARTS at $2k, 1yr drivers license suspension, your canoe will be seized & impounded, thousands of dollars in increased auto insurance and a probable ban on travelling to the US. If an American is caught, it will be a lifetime ban on travelling to Canada.

Unless you're willing to pay for a $500 annual exemption application, with no guarantee you will be allowed in.

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I don't recall when a prohibition on being "impaired" was extended to cover manually propelled craft. Not that I'm likely to do it, but still would have liked to know about the law...

Does anyone know if air mattresses count as vessels?


You have it backwards, unpowered vessels were NEVER specifically excluded. There are different specific regulations regarding the differences in equipment needed on a 40' power cruiser versus a 10' sailing dinghy, but under the law they are both vessels. Ontario now that it is cash strapped is extending that beyond all scope of not just the intent of law but all reasonable common sense.

And yes air mattresses count, if it floats it's a vessel, end of story. The Aurora OPP has an annual sting at the Elora Gorge cracking down on the deadly epidemic of drunken inner tubing.

:evil:

Don't even get me started on the pile of other BS I've run into canoeing around Lake O.


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 2:57 pm 
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Erhard wrote:
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...I can even see potential where a manually propelled craft could create a dangerous situation for others. Now, why are bicycles exempt?

Where did you get that from? It ain't true.....


From earlier in the thread. Thanks for correcting it.

An impaired cyclist is more likely to be a problem. All you need to do is fall over and you're directly in the path of a vehicle on the road.

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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 3:01 pm 
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Erhard wrote:
Back to being drunk in a canoe: I hope I'll never be guilty of that sort of stupidity.

Two things:

1) The limit in Ontario now is effectively 0.05. This was done by short circuiting the legislative process. It was done as a fundraising vote gathering move to appease MADD Canada's goal of slowly legislating in another prohibition.

2) I hope you never paddle with a hangover, outside of long weekends Toronto police have found their most "successful" RIDE programs are early Monday mornings.

If someone is a teetotalling paddler and frowns upon imbibing outside of anything that doesn't have four walls & a roof that's fine. Given the popularity of alcohol th'ds I'd wager that is a minority opinion, I know on a weekend trip I don't see the harm in having two or three beers while quietly floating a shoreline casting for bass on a July afternoon. There's a long gap between total abstinence & falling out of a canoe trying to pee over the gunnel, that big grey area is now criminalized.

And yes bicycles are specifically excluded from impaired driving charges. Canoes, air mattresses & inner tubes are not. On the flip side, the same people that excluded drunk cycling from criminal charges also made it legal to simple drive over them.


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 3:35 pm 
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So you go for a swim after a few beers - no criminal activity, but climb up on an inner tube floating beside you and risk loosing your drivers license.... What if the guy wasn't holding the paddle? Would he still be in care and control of the watercraft?

no more beer floats I suppose.


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 4:11 pm 
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Erhard wrote (regarding impaired bicyclists):

"Where did you get that from? It ain't true....."

Seemed odd to me too, but that's what it said in the K-W Record article, as follows:

"'These sanctions apply to anyone who is caught drinking and operating motorized and nonmotorized vessels, including power boats, canoes, kayaks, personal watercraft, sailboats, dinghies and other inflatable boats and rafts,' a provincial Transportation Ministry notice states.

Guelph city police Const. Mike Gatto said bicycles are excluded unless motorized."


-JF-


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 4:32 pm 
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In ontario, bicycles are excluded, I looked into this quite a bit, as I was tired of paying 32 dollars cab fair to get a few k from my local watering hole back to home. They can charge you with public intoxication, if they so deem it, but that's only a hundred bucks or so...haven't been charged or stopped yet.

As for liquor and canoes...me thinks too many people here are playing prude. How many of you have had an ice cold beer while drifting down your favorite river, or while casting a line. When I'm back in the middle of no where, I'm on my own time, and no one dictates anything to me, so if I feel like having a beer in my canoe without my life jacket on, I do it. Rules and reg's can bite me. If I'm paddling in some boat infested lake where most of the power boaters are looped, I'll keep my wits sharp and stay off the hooch. If I'm ever charged on a wilderness excursion with open liquor....well, it's time to hang up the paddle. I am truly getting sick of the uber-legislation of safety.


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 4:54 pm 
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I am pretty sure about what the Highway Traffic Act says - it's right here on http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... .htm#BK206 - paragraph 130.

Maybe the police has their own rules as to what they enforce and what not - but he judge goes by the act.

I know of the one difference between driver vs cyclist: the cyclist will not lose any points against his license if convicted of carelss driving while on the bike.

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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 5:46 pm 
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OK, try this one, it's from your neck of the woods.
http://www.torontolife.com/daily/urban- ... der-law-3/


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 6:40 pm 
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I guess it's been too long since we fought a war against the fascists.
Having a pint of cold beer and going for a canoe paddle on a sunny summer afternoon is a far cry from getting loaded and driving home from the bar.
What do they do if the "drunk" (0.05 BAC) paddler doesn't have a driver's license?
It's one of the stupidest laws I've come across.

Spare me the crocodile tears about the search and rescue notifying the next of kin. If you don't like your job, quit.


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 7:14 pm 
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OK, I know Canada is a "safe" country compared with parts or the US and Vancouver :D, but I have to ask... doesn't the OPP have something more important to do than arrest canoeists?

That said, I love beer, have since I first tasted it out of Dad's bottle when I was young. But I love canoeing more... and while I have had beers when canoeing, I find that even 1 beer makes me loose enough sharpness that I can't paddle as well as I could without. So I almost never drink and then paddle. The opposite is quite common, as enjoying a good beer after a paddle is pure bliss.

But I have to ask myself... what did this canoeist do to attract the attention of the OPP so they gave him a ticket? Speeding? "Hey buddy, your clipping along there at 7 mph... that's a little bit quick here in this no wake zone, I'm gonna have to give you a ticket. " :rofl: Made an illegal turn or without a signal? Hey never saw a canoe with a turn signal, so that can't be it. :cry: :roll: Blew a red light? Nah! No seat belt? Driving witout a headlight or taillight? Weaving back and forth? "I'm sorry officer, I'm just learning my Canadian stroke, and I'm not quite able to leave a perfectly straight stern wake behind the canoe..." :wink: The reality is that this guy must have been acting like an asshole... yelling and cussing on the water, or paddling in a swimming area, or urinating in public, or something else than floating along enjoying a beer, or two, or threee. I struggle to think that OWI is the appropriate offense that got this guy in trouble. Personally, I don't envision myself drinking to the point of your legal limit and enjoying a canoe trip, but I also struggle to think of what I would have to do while canoeing to get myself busted for "'canoeing while intoxicated." Funny enough, virtually all the things that come to mind are pretty funny. He, Dude, I just saw you run that class three and miss that micro-eddy part way down... can I see your license, I'm gonna have to give you a breath-alyzer test. :rofl: :rofl:

PK


Last edited by pknoerr on July 12th, 2011, 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 8:03 pm 
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from that Toronto paper:
Quote:
Believe it or not, it’s perfectly legal to ride a two-wheeler while intoxicated in Canada—our criminal code’s section on driving while impaired refers only to motor vehicles such as cars, Jet Skis and Zambonis.

They are talking about a criminal charge and I don't know what the criminal laws are that relate to drunkenness. I quoted the highway traffic act and it states very clearly what the charge and fine can be. Maybe we should get a lawyer, a cop and a reporter around a table and hash it out - over a beer or two.

In case anyone wonders - I am not a tee-totaler, and my preference is for wine (a bottle or two of Beaujolais is usually along on my trips). As adult, I never developed a taste for hard drinks, and I find beer only nice when I am parched. I drink at the camp site, and usually small amounts. It's nice, in the evening.

As to drinking and driving - I don't. I am aware that alcohol increases my reaction time drastically and I cannot stand the thought that I might get into an avoidable collision on account of alcohol in my system.

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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 8:48 pm 
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Erhard wrote:
from that Toronto paper:
Quote:
Believe it or not, it’s perfectly legal to ride a two-wheeler while intoxicated in Canada—our criminal code’s section on driving while impaired refers only to motor vehicles such as cars, Jet Skis and Zambonis.

They are talking about a criminal charge and I don't know what the criminal laws are that relate to drunkenness. I quoted the highway traffic act.


Impaired driving is a Criminal Code violation (Federal law), Careless Driving is a Highway Traffic Act offence (Provincial law) which is not what we are talking about or what you can be charged with in a canoe. The Criminal Code of Canada specifically exempts cyclists from impaired driving.

Careless Driving was never meant to apply to drunken cyclists, it is just another case of bright bunny officers co-opting the law for a larger charge because the law is written vague enough to apply to a wide range of offences.


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 8:55 pm 
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Ghost wrote:
Spare me the crocodile tears about the search and rescue notifying the next of kin. If you don't like your job, quit.


I wasn't trying to drum up empathy or sympathy for the SARs folks. I just don't like to see public $ spent on pulling drunken yahoos out of the drink.

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PostPosted: July 12th, 2011, 9:02 pm 
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pknoerr wrote:
But I have to ask myself... what did this canoeist do to attract the attention of the OPP so they gave him a ticket?


Random stops, 99% of the time municipal & provincial marine units are randomly stopping all craft looking for violations. The OPP around here all have received shiney new $80k Zodiacs over the last few years and now they have to pay for them. Having a waterproof flashlight is mandatory safety equipment here for canoes, the only thing slightly more rediculous than losing your drivers license for a year than floating on an inner tube infront of the cottage is watching the Norfolk OPP stopping canoes on the Grand R. and laying fine after fine for not having a working flashlight. At 2pm. On a river maybe 200 yards wide.

It's not just canoes, the police in Durham had a lengthy strike a year ago. To make up for the budget shortfall loosing a few months of speeding ticket revenue the cops would camp out infront of the only open bar in town and lay public intoxication charges on people waiting for cabs, or even pull people out from cabs because they were drunk when they passed over the sidewalk from the door of the bar to the door of the cab.

Ontario is broke, with a bloated budget paying off all of McQuinty's IOU's. Every municipality in S.Ontario would be bankrupt in 6 months if the police stopped writing citations, law enforcements #1 priority in Ontario is meeting the over $1 Billion quota expectation. If anybody thinks it's about safety you're delusional.


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2011, 7:51 am 
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Random stopping a canoeist? C'mon, I'm paddling down the river quietly, enjoying my day, minding my business with a beer when from the next access an officer that just happens to be standing there at some remote access and calls to me from the river to see if i'm drunk? Really (dripping with sarcasm)? I struggle to think that on any river that I'd want to actually paddle that an OPP officer would be standing there waiting (or a zodiac patrolling) for little old me to come floating by to random stop me for OWI my canoe. Now I can see in places where rentals are common, and lots of people booze cruise canoes (ie: big party barge.) Most of those people would qualify as publicly intoxicated, but a guy floating down the river enjoying a beer, or as Rob states, having a beer while floating along fishing in your canoe... I don't see this becoming something that effects anyone on CCR. I'll bring my stash on my next Canadian canoe trip and not worry about it myself.

PK


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