An Apple Valley man was arrested for DWI on Monday after he was caught drunkenly driving a Zamboni at a Pee Wee hockey game.
The 34-year-old Zamboni driver is a part-time employee of the city of Apple Valley. Parents in attendance first noticed something was amiss when the driver started making stripes in the ice and banging the Zamboni into the rink walls. This prompted one of the Pee Wee coaches to call the police, who then arrested the man for DWI.
The man has two prior DWI convictions, in 1999 and 2002.
Minnesota law states that a person can be charged with a DWI if they are driving a motor vehicle in the state while intoxicated. According to MN statute 169.03A Subd. 15, a motor vehicle is any “vehicle that is self-propelled.” A Zamboni falls under this description. Although the man has not yet been formally charged with a DWI, he likely will be. The question is: what degree of DWI will he be charge with?
This largely depends on the man’s BAC at the time of driving. If his BAC level was relatively low (0.08 or under) he will likely receive a 4th or 3rd degree DUI. However, if his BAC level is 0.20 or higher, he could be charged with a 2nd degree.
“If his BAC is 0.20 or above there is also the question of vehicle forfeiture,” says MN DWI Lawyer, Geoff Saltzstein. “In cases involving high BAC levels, police routinely seize and forfeit the vehicle involved in the offense. Will police seize the Zamboni in this case? It could likely pay for a few new squad cars.”