Drunken skiers in France to face prosecution

A state prosecutor said he wants to end the "spirit of Ibiza" on the slopes

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The Independent Online

France is planning to prosecute drunken skiers after a wave of fatal accidents at resorts in the country.

Those found guilty of being inebriated on French ski slopes could face a maximum jail term of one year, with fines of up to €15,000 (£12,309) given out for minor offenders, The Times has reported.

Police officers have said that one in five ski accidents in France are caused by alcohol.

To push out what has been dubbed “the spirit of Ibiza” from the slopes, French officials have been told to press charges of endangering life against skiers, a senior legal source told the newspaper. 

Patrick Quincy, the state prosecutor in Albertville in the French Alps, said: “The spirit of Ibiza takes precedence sometimes over the spirit of the mountain."

British and Scandinavian skiers were the most likely to be caught drunk while skiing, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro, although legal sources said British holidaymakers were neither worse nor better than those from other countries.

A study in Austria has shown that the problem is not isolated to French resorts, with a quarter of skiers aged between 15 and 25 questioned by researchers admitting they have taken part in the sporting activity while tipsy.