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Drunk Zamboni Driver Arrested at MN Pee Wee Hockey Game

By Andrew Chow, Esq. | Last updated on

A Minnesota man's part-time job is on thin ice, after he was arrested for driving a Zamboni while drunk at a pee-wee hockey game.

Joel Keith Bruss, 34, of Apple Valley, Minn., was supposed to maneuver a Zamboni around an indoor ice rink to make the surface smooth for skating. But Bruss' moves were anything but smooth when he took to the ice Monday night, Minneapolis' WCCO-TV reports.

Kids and hockey moms were stunned as Bruss struggled to control the Zamboni, bumping into the rink's walls and unable to drive in a straight line. A concerned coach called 911.

When police arrived, Joel Keith Bruss had spent nearly half an hour driving haphazardly around the ice rink. The Zamboni-driving job is supposed to take just 10 minutes.

Bruss appeared unsteady on his feet and reeked of alcohol, police told WCCO. They conducted a field sobriety test and arrested Bruss in connection with driving while intoxicated. The result of a blood alcohol test is pending.

Bruss' boss, Apple Valley's parks and rec director, says Bruss was a dependable employee before his drunken Zamboni-driving arrest. But Bruss does have prior DWI convictions from 2002 and 1999.

Those prior convictions could result in harsher penalties if Bruss is convicted for his alleged drunken Zamboni driving. Minnesota law calls for a one-year minimum driver license suspension for a third DWI offense.

If less than 10 years have passed since a prior DWI violation, Minnesota law also calls for mandatory jail terms of at least 30 days.

Joel Keith Bruss has been suspended from his part-time job as a Zamboni driver. He may want to skate over to a local DWI attorney's office to ensure a strong defense -- unless he's much better at being a smooth talker than being a smooth drunk Zamboni driver.

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