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Apple Valley, Minn., Zamboni driver arrested for apparent on-rink DUI

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A Minnesota driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Monday night in the town of Apple Valley. Of course, that hardly qualifies as a bizarre event; there are plenty of people arrested on suspicion of DUI across the country every day. Still, this particular Minnesota DUI was unusual. The arrest didn't come on a city road; it came just off the ice at a youth hockey rink.

As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Twin Cities NBC affiliate KARE, Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO and a handful of other outlets, Apple Valley resident Joel Bruss was taken into custody at the Hayes Hockey Arena on suspicion of operating the rink's Zamboni machine while intoxicated.

The 34-year-old man -- whose name has not been released because he has not been formally charged -- failed field sobriety tests before being taken to a local police station for a blood-alcohol test. The Star Tribune reported that the implicated driver had also been arrested on DUI charges in 2002 and twice in 1999.

While charges may not be filed against the driver until the blood-alcohol test results are returned, the circumstantial evidence against the man certainly seems to be stacking up against him. The Pee Wee coach who called 911 to report the man offered a troubling recollection of the driver's 25 minutes attempting to re-surface the Hayes ice (re-surfacing an ice rink traditionally takes approximately 10 minutes) before his team skated back out after a break.

"[Before the game, the driver was] making stripes on the ice," Eastview Hockey Association Pee Wee C coach Bryan Dornstreich told the Star Tribune. "[After the game the driver was] weaving all over, slurring his words."

Dornstreich also told the Star Tribune that the driver smelled like Red Bull and had blurry red eyes before he had even taken to the ice before the game, indicating that he may have been drinking before arriving at Hayes for the evening Zamboni shift.

If the driver in question harbored any hopes of escaping punishment because he wasn't driving a car, he may be in for a harsh surprise. The Star Tribune reported that drivers have been arrested in the state of Minnesota for piloting everything from a ride-on lawnmower in a yard to a farm tractor, a class of vehicles which would certainly include a Zamboni.

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