Jockey Chantal Sutherland Failed A Breathalyzer Test Before Her Race

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Chantal Sutherland is not unattractive. But the Canadian rider, with more than 10 years of experience, has headed off any Danica-style criticism by actually being quite good at her job. Thankfully for her, that body of work will also prevent her from being known chiefly as the jockey who nearly rode drunk.

As first reported by Thoroughblog, Sutherland was pulled off her mounts at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday, and handed a five-day suspension after failing a breath test before the day's first race. Because the results are confidential, we don't know any of the details, but the Paulick Report has teased some of them out.

Jockeys may be subjected to breath tests approximately one hour before riding their first mount, so Sutherland would have been tested at noon.


Blood alcohol content above .02 but below .04 is considered over the limit and subject to a first offense fine of $100 and suspension for that day. A second offense in that blood-alcohol content range within 12 months is subject to a $300 fine and five-day suspension. Blood alcohol content tests from .04 to .079 are subject to a first offense fine of $300 and five-day suspension.


So either Sutherland blew in that intermediate range, or she barely registered, and it was her second offense. (And the noon test time makes it possible that she wasn't taking a morning nip, but just had a really crazy time the night before.) Either way, she wasn't over the legal limit for driving a car. But there's a lot less leeway on the track, and even a drink or two makes it dangerous to, um, operate an oater vehicle.