We've never been fortunate to make a demand like the Gear Daddies and forcefully tell a rink operator "I Wanna Drive the Zamboni," but we imagine it to be a pretty fun experience. Experiencing it drunk would likely take to a whole different level, however.
In January, 34-year-old Joel Bruss was arrested for operating a Zamboni drunk at the Hayes Park Arena in Apple Valley, Minn. A normal 10-minute job of resurfacing the ice turned into close to a half an hour. As parents and young players looked on, Bruss cleaned the ice like a teenager mowing your lawn for the first time, leaving patches yet to be scraped.
Bruss was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and was charged as court documents Thursday revealed his blood-alcohol content was .32, four times the legal limit.
KARE 11 in Minnesota has video of Bruss' driving skills shot by a Pee Wee player awaiting to get on the ice (one bit of NSFW language):A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
According to the Star Tribune, Bruss has been convicted of drunken driving three times: twice in 1999 and once in 2002. This was the first time on a Zamboni:
The complaint said that when the officer entered the arena, the Zamboni machine was partly off and partly on the ice while the driver was trying to get it unstuck. Once Bruss got off the machine, the officer smelled alcohol on his breath and noted that he was "extremely unsteady" and was hanging onto the Zamboni to keep his balance. Bruss was slurring his words and mumbling and his eyes were red, watery and bloodshot, the complaint said.
As the Star Tribune noted back in January, just because Bruss was driving a Zamboni on an empty ice rink and not a car on a busy road doesn't lessen his coming punishment. State law allows a DWI to be given for any sort of motorized vehicle, including a lawn mower or forklift.
Stick-tap Bryan Reynolds of Hockey Wilderness for the video
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy