ZUI: North Dakotan Arrested for Allegedly Driving Zamboni Under The Influence

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Steven Anderson
Steven Anderson

In keeping with an ancient American proverb: “If it can be driven, it can be driven under the influence,” Fargo police arrested Steven Anderson for allegedly driving a Zamboni ice surfacing machine while under the influence.

In a Twitter post with the hashtag “bumperzamboni,” a spectator at the arena reported that, “I’ve never seen a zamboni have so much trouble around the edges.” The incident offered a refreshing nuance to what would otherwise have been a rather ordinary and languishing youth hockey game.

Stock photo: Not indicative of the degree of treachery nearly unleashed in Fargo
Stock photo: Not indicative of the degree of treachery nearly unleashed in Fargo

Sports arena officials called police after witness reported that Zamboni driver Steven Anderson was driving the Zamboni in an erratic manner. After performing an investigation, police arrested Anderson and charged him with DUI. His employer tossed him out into the cold by terminating his employment, an almost certain blow to his ice surfacing career.

According to Court records, Mr. Anderson earned a previous arrest last December for DUI (a car this time) and to possession of drug paraphernalia. He also has a 2009 conviction for public intoxication.

Fortunately for the good citizens of Fargo, police arrived in time to prevent further tragedy. Had this ice surfacing menace escaped to the freeways untold calamity would have likely ensued. If it pressed onward to Seattle, the city would have certainly self destructed–faced with the terror of an inch of snow followed by a renegade Zamboni in its wake.

By Darren Smith

Source: The Smoking Gun

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

25 thoughts on “ZUI: North Dakotan Arrested for Allegedly Driving Zamboni Under The Influence”

  1. Mr. Schulte

    In fact, Mr. Smith does not engage the issues this man clearly faces with possible alcohol issues. But rather he says the police will save all in Fargo! Come on… Don’t act like he cared about this man’s health.

    1. TJustice – the only one who really can take care of the alcoholism problem is the alcoholic. Darren can mention the alcohol related problems, which he did. I was more interested in whether Fargo PD had jurisdiction to write a DUI ticket on private property or not.

  2. Mr. Schulte

    This in relation to the other posts by Mr. Smith. And there was no discussion in this post relating to alcoholism as a larger issue in North American societies.

  3. It’s fitting that this weekend contributor’s only post about the US in the recent week is about something irrelevant to the world. Great Jingoism.

    1. TJustice – both they United States and Canada play hockey all the time. Alcoholism is an international problem. And who doesn’t love a great Zamboni story?

  4. Oddly enough, this isn’t the first drunken zamboni article I’ve ever read. But then you have to assume a person that drives a zamboni for a living has made some bad life choices.

  5. As for courts, courts need to have both in personam jurisdiction (either general jurisdiction, ie. you live there, or specific jurisdiction, your presence there is the reason the cause of action/criminal action is arising) AND subject matter jurisdiction. With respect to the police and the Indian reservations, that’s more a matter of executive branch jurisdiction, ie. a NY cop cannot cross the line into NJ. But in the case above, we’re not discussing jurisdiction, ND police genuinely have jurisdiction, the only question is whether his conduct violates a statute and whether THE STATUTE applies to conduct, in this case WITHIN the hockey rink. That’s the twist of course, but DUI/DWI on a parking lot, the TYPICAL fact pattern, NOT particularly controversial, under those facts I’d assume the cop could effect an arrest unless something in the laws of that state indicated otherwise.

  6. In NJ there’s even a ‘presumption’ granted to the police in case they stop you on property that hasn’t been granted title 39 and then it’s up to the defendant to plead that in municipal court, ie. The police needn’t be aware of the specific public accommodations that have or haven’t……

    1. Free NYC Pics – this goes back a long ways but I do remember that you have to have authority over the subject matter and the subject. For example, if I am in NJ, the NY cops have no authority over my subject. This is something you can plead in court. You force the cop to prove he has the right to arrest you. We have a street that half is in the city of Scottsdale and half is on the Indian Reservation. It drives them nuts when there is an accident in the middle of the road. They actually come out and survey. 🙂

  7. Well, no, Paul, that’s just the thing, a private entity, typically a public accommodation like a mall WILL APPLY, at least in NJ for ‘title 39 to apply’ which specifically grants the authority to police. Most larger public accommodations actually WANT this and will pay the engineers/contractors to comply with signage requirements, etc. You’re right in the sense of private property being beyond the bounds of the police, you can drive drunk in your driveway all day long, BUT we have a hockey rink here and they more than likely are large enough that they did ND’s version of allowing NJ’s title 39 to apply on their property. The further wrinkle being that it’s not in the parking area.

    AZ and ND may be different and in some private communities, you’re right, they’re advisory. For instance, I live in an HOA and we had our own thing, complete with 15mph speed limit. We have a hill and some speeders and we can’t do speed bumps because of fire trucks. So we filed to let our town enforce title 39 and we had to comply, the signs needed to be a certain height, the speed limit had to be 25mph, but yes, the police can now patrol this otherwise private street because we specifically granted them permission to do so. Of course, that’s NJ.

    The statutory argument with respect to handicapped spots may also apply in ND with respect to DUI and we just wouldn’t know of the statute’s existence.

    1. Free NYC Pics – I look forward to the video of the police chases of the Zambonis in the rink as they speed or engage in reckless driving. 🙂

  8. I’m not sure about Fargo and whatever state Fargo is in, but in my state, DUI is a criminal offense. Private property does not shield you from a criminal offense. If a zamboni machine or a forklift meets the definition of a vehicle in the jurisdiction, then a DUI should be possible on either. BTW, I am not a lawyer (my parents were married – to each other) and your mileage may vary.

  9. With respect to private property vs public roads, there was a case in NJ where a forklift operator who had had his license suspended for DWI was still absolutely permitted to drive the forklift at his employer’s warehouse. Problem came when the forklift needed gas. While the gas station was merely across the street, that was enough. Necertheless, Paul, I still think the police can arrest. In Nj a private entity, like a mall, can apply to a town to allow ‘Title 39’ (the criminal code) to apply. And this is why police can give parking tickets to people parking in handicapped spots. Unquestionably, if this guy were operating his own motor vehicle in the parking lot, he’d almost assuredly be subject to a DUI because I would fully expect a business the size of a hockey rink to do ND’s equivalent of allowing the police to enforce the traffic code on their property. The only twist is the interior and the fact it was a Zamboni.

    1. Free NYC Pics – you know the police cannot enforce those stop signs in the shopping mall. They are advisory only. There is a specific state statute for the disabled parking which allows the police to ticket, but in Arizona they never do, unless it is on public property.

  10. He got arrested for a DUI inside a building? I thought a DUI had to be on a road.

    This guy sure sounds like a slow learner. He just got a DUI weeks ago, and he’s so far gone he shows up drunk to work? Sounds like a troubled alcoholic.

    1. Pogo – is there any reason you cannot drive drunk on private property?

  11. There is something here for a character in a book or a movie, a Zamboni driver in Fargo ND. What else could he be up to?

    1. issac – I was thinking when they do the remake of ‘Slap Shot’ they could add this scene.

  12. I just am not sure the Fargo police have the authority to arrest someone for DUI in a skating rink. It is private property, for goodness sake!!!

    BTW, it is a loooooong way from Fargo to Seattle on a Zamboni.

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