Don't drive snowmobiles drunk

March  04, 2013

Late winter snow storms have been good for snowmobiling. But it's also resulted in an unusually high number of crashes. The Illinois DNR says last month in northern Illinois, eight snowmobile crashes sent drivers and passengers to the hospital with serious injuries, and a man from the Quad Cities was killed.

Region One Commander Robert Frazier, from the DNR's Conservation Police, says sometimes people go snowmobiling in unfamiliar places, even at night. Newer models are very fast. And in most of the crashes, he says alcohol was a factor. "One snomobile driver hit a concrete railroad culvert in Henry County. Another his a mailbox and then a telephone pole in the Sterling area."

Frazier says snowmobilers should always tell someone where they're going and when to expect them to return.

The rules about drinking alcohol and driving a snowmobile are the same as the rules for cars. Three of last month's crash victims are charged with Operating Under the Influence.

The Rock Island County Sheriff is investigating the death of 36 year old Donovan Stephens. Early on February 27th the Colona man lost control of his snowmobile which rolled over on him.