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Man Pleads Guilty To Driving Zamboni Drunk

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An Apple Valley man pleaded guilty Thursday to driving a Zamboni while drunk – with a recorded blood alcohol content of 0.32 — at a hockey game in January, court records show.

Joel Keith Bruss, 34, pleaded guilty to one gross misdemeanor DWI charge. Three other DWI charges were dismissed.

Bruss was sentenced to serve two years of probation, during which he may not abuse or possess alcohol and/or drugs, must complete a DWI program, and complete a chemical dependency evaluation, among other things.

Police say that on Jan. 30, 2012, they were called to Hayes Ice Arena in Apple Valley, where witnesses reported seeing Bruss driving the zamboni while intoxicated.

The witnesses said Bruss missed portions of the ice with the machine and had been running into the boards around the rink. They also said he smelled of alcohol.

An officer approached Bruss, who appeared to have gotten the zamboni stuck and was attempting to get it back on track. The officer approached Bruss, while he was still seated on the machine, and detected a strong odor of alcohol. Police asked Bruss to come off the zamboni and noted that he was having troubles balancing, according to the complaint.

Bruss admitted to police he was drinking before coming to work. He was asked to perform some field sobriety tests, which police say he performed “poorly.”

Bruss had been charged with four counts of driving while impaired.

A review of Bruss’ driving record revealed he was convicted of a DUI in 2003 and two other DUIs, with an alcohol concentration of more than .20 from 1999 from two separate incidents.

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