If it moves, people will drive it drunk. Tractors. Segways. Scooters. Snow plows. And now, a Zamboni.
During a hockey game in rural Manitoba, spectators noticed that the venerable ice resurfacing machine was not navigating smoothy over the rink. In fact it was striking the rink’s boards and moving in an erratic fashion.
The chief of the Town of Ste. Anne Police Department was called in to confront the driver, who resisted arrest and refused a breathalyzer test. Those charges were added to an impaired driving charge.
The chief admitted it was a first for him, but police are used to apprehending drunk drivers on unusual vehicles, because people often fail to realize that there are vehicles besides cars and trucks that can be dangerous when operated by an impaired driver.
For the record, the Canada Criminal Code defines a “motor vehicle” as a vehicle that is drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than muscular power, railway equipment excluded. However, the impaired driving laws include railway equipment as well. And Zambonis are without a doubt motor vehicles.
Admittedly a hockey rink is a more isolated environment than an highway or city street, but it is possible that the driver could have injured himself or damaged property.
This isn’t even the first time a drunk Zamboni driver was taken off the ice. It happened in the US six months ago, when a Fargo, North Dakota operator was the subject of pretty much the same police report as was just filed in Manitoba: a man was driving the Zamboni erratically and crashing into the boards.
A reminder to all: if it has wheels (or skids) and a motor, drive it sober. Or you’ll find yourself on ice indefinitely.