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Man found guilty of DUI while driving a Zamboni at a high school hockey game

drunk zamboni
Written by Peter Walken

FARGO — A former Zamboni driver for the Fargo Park District was sentenced Tuesday to nine days in jail by a municipal court judge for driving a Zamboni while drunk during a high school hockey game last winter.

Steven James Anderson’s attorney argued at trial that his client wasn’t guilty of the Class B misdemeanor driving under the influence charge filed after he was reported Anderson driving the Zamboni erratically during a girls hockey game South Sports Arena.

Lindsey Haugen said Anderson wasn’t guilty because neither North Dakota state law nor Fargo city ordinance defines a Zamboni as a vehicle.

The law goes into some detail about trucks, bicycles, snowmobiles and various other conveyances and whether they’d be considered a vehicle, but it excludes Zambonis, Haugen said after court.

Witnesses who took the stand included WDAY 6 and 10 p.m. anchor Dana Mogck, who attended the Fargo Davies game against Williston.

Mogck and another witness, Troy Cody, told the court they noticed Anderson weaving the Zamboni before crashing it hard into the boards several times.

Mogck told reporters he saw Anderson holler from behind the controls of the Zamboni for the sound operator at the game to “crank it up” during an AC/DC song.

Cody called police, who testified that Anderson told them he’d been celebrating at a friend’s birthday party about four hours before the hockey game started.

A police test showed Anderson had a 0.314 percent blood-alcohol content.

Municipal Court Judge Stephen Dawson found Anderson guilty.

In addition to being sentenced to nine days in jail, Anderson must stay on a 24-7 alcohol monitoring program until next March.

“Not in a million years did Steven think what he was doing was a crime,” Haugen said after court. He said Anderson rode a bicycle to the game that night and planned to take a taxi home.

“He’s terribly embarrassed. He’s a nice kid,” Haugen said.

Anderson told the court he was going through some difficult personal issues at the time of the Zamboni incident, and made changes in his life, including adopting the 24-7 alcohol monitoring system four months before Tuesday’s hearing.

“It was a tough end of the year, start of the year,” Anderson told the judge. “I hope never to see you again.”

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About the author

Peter Walken

Peter Walken is an independent editor, an award-winning writer, and an editorial consultant. He is currently a contributing editor at News Examiner, where he has worked as a senior editor.

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