Minnesota Zamboni driver allegedly drunk while cleaning ice

Jordan Chittley
Daily Buzz

A 34-year-old man was arrested for allegedly driving a Zamboni while drunk during a peewee hockey game in Minnesota.

Parents and fans watched as the driver, Joel Keith Bruss, drove all over the rink smashing the machine into the boards, reports the Star Tribune.

According to CBS Minnesota, one spectator claimed Bruss had the water turned off for many laps and he couldn't drive in a straight line. Fans also thought something was weird when the normally 10-minute task took Bruss almost half an hour.

"The coaches noticed he was off the mark quite a ways, bumping into the boards and having trouble maneuvering the machine and thought they need to call someone for help," said Randy Johnson, Apple Valley's Parks and Recreation Director, to CBS Minnesota. "They knew something was wrong. He was not operating it like he normally does."

When the police arrived they noticed Bruss having trouble completing the task. Officers approached Bruss after he drove the Zamboni off the ice and arrested him for driving under the influence after reporting that he smelled of alcohol.

Parents picked up the slack and scraped the rough spots out of the ice.

If this seems like something that was bound to have happened in Canada given how much hockey is played here, you'd be right. A woman was charged with a DUI after she was seen operating a Zamboni erratically in an arena south of Windsor in 2008, reports Canada.com.

Parents complained to an off-duty officer who was at the rink watching his son that the driver was smashing into the boards and was slumped over the wheel. The OPP officer called for backup and when the woman drove the Zamboni off the rink she was arrested. Police found a flask of vodka in the pockets of her pants.

A man in New Jersey was also charged for operating a Zamboni under the influence, but a judge threw out the charges arguing it isn't a motor vehicle because it can't drive on highways or carry passengers.

Johnson said he didn't notice anything wrong with Bruss when he started his shift about four hours before the incident occurred and tells CBS Minnesota he has been a good and dependable employee.

Bruss, who has three other DUI charges on his record, has been suspended from his part-time position at the arena.