Without A Paddle

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Canoeing while drinking.  Is there any other way? 

Joe Doakes

The rationale sounds strained enough to be a Minnesota Supreme Court majroity opinion:

…Justice West concluded that yes, canoes count — and so does pretty much anything else that transports you over water. In the eyes of the law, then, being drunk while paddling an inflatable dinghy is the same thing as being drunk while driving a pickup truck. Smoking a joint and paddling a canoe is equal to smoking a joint and driving a car. All of the same penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences, apply. Yet you cannot be charged for impaired operation of a bike, because the Criminal Code says land vehicles must be motorized to count.

Of course it does.

There’s plenty of actual tragedy in the story, too, unfortunatlely.

7 thoughts on “Without A Paddle

  1. Well, of course paddling while intoxicated is dangerous! Back when large ships were powered by both wind and oar power, there was a command for “ramming speed” to get the oarsmen to row faster to ram an enemy ship. Can’t you see some crazed Minnesota Democrat using his canoe to ram someone in another canoe that is wearing a MAGA hat? 🤗

  2. If he was at 100mg/100ml (0.1% BAC) at 8pm, he was at 0.15% (plus or minus) at 6pm, and would have been somewhat higher than that when the accident occurred. Add dope and an inadequate life vest, along with canoeing near a waterfall, and this isn’t an accident–the guy belongs in jail.

  3. because the Criminal Code says land vehicles must be motorized to count.

    You can bet MADD is working to change that.

  4. Bike Bubba – just for giggles, let’s consider the public policy rationale behind a ban on Canoeing While Intoxicated. Is it the same as Driving a Vehicle While Intoxicated? No, because the danger of DWI is harm to others. Nobody else gets hurt when a drunk canoeist drowns himself.

    Ah, but society must act to protect people from doing things that might harm themselves. We must ban Canoeing While Drinking, to save his life even if he’s no threat to anybody else. Society has a moral obligation to prevent people from doing things that might cause them harm.

    Such as Canoeing While Drinking. In fact, forget drinking: we must ban canoeing (might fall out and hit your head on a rock). Drinking (might get drunk and fall down and hit your head on a rock). Walking (might stumble, fall down and hit your head on a rock). Eating (might swallow wrong, choke, pass out, and hit your head on a rock). Owning a firearm (might get depressed about all the things you’re no longer allowed to do, and shoot yourself).

    Once the busybodies decide they can regulate your life “for your own good,” there are no limits to their intrusiveness since they’re entirely morally justified to be saving lives and if you weren’t such an ungrateful fellow, you’d appreciate how hard they work on your behalf.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  5. Joe, read the article. The guy was drunk and stoned, had a juvenile in the canoe, and his failure to make sure the kid had an adequate life vest and keep the canoe upright ended up with the kid drowning at the bottom of a waterfall.

    So if you point out that there ought to be other penalties involved–failure to ensure adequate life vests for kids, etc..–I’m with you 100%. But that said, I think it’s fair to (as you yourself note) say that when your idiocy can hurt others, public drunkenness laws ought to apply.

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