A North Dakota man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after allegedly steering a Zamboni erratically during a high school hockey game in Fargo on Jan. 30. The incident happened around 8:15 p.m. at South Sports Arena.
According to authorities, spectators at the Davies High School girls hockey game noticed something was wrong after the first period when the Zamboni began weaving around the ice, eventually slamming into the boards. Police were called to the arena, and the 27-year-old driver of the ice resurfacing machine was taken into custody. A preliminary breath test showed he had a blood-alcohol content level of .30 percent, which is more than three times the state's legal limit of .08 percent.
The defendant has worked part-time for the park district for six years. He reportedly had a clean job performance record. In January, he pleaded guilty to DUI and possession of marijuana paraphernalia in a separate incident involving a car.
While the Fargo Police Department admits charging a Zamboni driver with DUI is unique, they state that North Dakota law dictates anyone operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated should be arrested. The defendant was booked at Cass County Jail and released on bail the following day.
DUI charges can result in harsh penalties for those who are convicted, especially if they are repeat offenders. Anyone facing similar charges may benefit from retaining a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer could exploit weaknesses in the case in order to get the charges reduced or dropped. It may also be possible to obtain a reduction in charges in exchange for the defendant's participation in an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Source: FOX News, "Police bust Zamboni driver for DUI during girls high school hockey game," Feb. 1, 2015
Source: grandforksherald.com, "Police: Zamboni driver's blood-alcohol level was three times legal limit," Archie Ingersoll, Feb. 2, 2015
Source: cbssports.com, "Fargo Zamboni driver arrested on suspicion of DUI," Chris Peters, Feb. 1, 2015