Sunday, November 29, 2009
Breckenridge Local police officers could be more noticeable on the lower slopes and terrain parks at Breckenridge Ski Resort this winter to enforce the Colorado Ski Safety Act.
“In the past, maybe it wasn’t considered as much of a priority, but there has been some trend over the last couple years where we’ve seen more aggressive behavior,” Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman said.
Town council on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to an ordinance for people accused of Ski Safety Act violations to be dealt with in town court. Previously, town police officers have cited people under the state law, which goes through Summit County Court.
The act’s criminal violations include skiing on a closed trail or out of bounds, skiing while impaired by drugs or alcohol and failing to give one’s name and address to a ski area employee when involved in a collision.
Though the town was recently in the national spotlight for decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, Holman said he doesn’t expect more people to be skiing stoned.
Regarding discussions with the ski area, there have been “no conversations about expecting more people to ski under the influence,” he said.
The town has undergone a series of budget and staffing reductions this year, and Holman said there’s not yet a concrete plan for how enforcement may be changed for this winter.
“I don’t know that we’ll have a much more visible presence,” Holman said, adding that his department will be “trying to seek out opportunities” to help curb aggressive behavior.