ZWI: Man Arrested for Zamboni-Driving While Intoxicated - Legal Grounds
Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

ZWI: Man Arrested for Zamboni-Driving While Intoxicated

An accused drunken Zamboni driver's not-so-smooth moves at a kids' hockey game may land him behind bars, thanks to Minnesota's DWI law.

Joel Keith Bruss, 34, of Apple Valley, Minn., worked part-time as a Zamboni driver, smoothing the surface of an indoor ice rink. But at a pee-wee hockey match Monday night, Bruss' alleged drunken Zamboni driving gave spectators chills.

Bruss couldn't drive in a straight line and kept bumping into the rink's walls, witnesses told Minneapolis' WCCO-TV. (Bruss also forgot to spray the rink with water during his first four loops around the ice.)

The Zamboni work is supposed to take just 10 minutes to complete -- but after Bruss spent more than 20 minutes swerving around the rink, a concerned coach called 911.

Police arrested Joel Keith Bruss in connection with DWI after he allegedly failed a field sobriety test, WCCO reports. Bruss also reeked of alcohol, police say; the result of a blood-alcohol test is pending.

While Bruss' alleged drunken Zamboni driving may have sent kids and hockey moms into a tizzy, another DWI conviction could send Bruss straight to jail.

Minnesota's DWI law specifies mandatory jail terms of at least 30 days, if a person is convicted of more than one DWI within a 10-year period.

Bruss has three prior DWI convictions from 2002 and 1999, WCCO reports. Depending on the timing of his 2002 conviction, that could mean an automatic jail sentence if Bruss is convicted for Monday's alleged DWI.

And it probably doesn't matter that Bruss was driving a Zamboni. Minnesota courts have upheld DWI convictions in cases involving farm tractors and even a souped-up motorized recliner, Minneapolis' Star Tribune reports.

After Joel Keith Bruss' drunken Zamboni driving arrest, parents took to the ice to scrape off rough spots so the pee-wee team could play. Bruss has been suspended from his job, pending the outcome of his case.

Related Resources: