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Finnish man gets probation, fines after drunken Zamboni ride

A Finnish man was more than five times over the legal limit when he was arrested for driving a Zamboni while impaired, but he’s not the only person to be charged with impaired driving while behind the wheel of an ice resurfacer.

Here’s one you don’t hear every day: a Finnish man has lost his license for taking an ice resurfacing machine for a drunk joy ride around the ice.

According to Finnish outlet Kainuun Sanomat, the man was charged in August 2015 for taking the ice in the Zamboni, or another resurfacer of its ilk, out onto the ice while well under the influence. 

The report states the man was determined to have a blood alcohol content of .265 percent, which is more than five times the Finnish legal limit of .05. Making matters worse, this wasn’t even the first time he had been charged with drunk driving.

Luckily, the incident didn’t result in any injuries, and, so it appears according to the report, the man didn’t leave the ice surface and stayed on the rink while under the influence. That said, his driving must have tipped someone off that he was well over the legal limit.

The incident occurred at Kajaani Ice Arena, located in Kajaani, Finland. The building is the home of Kajaanin Hokki, a club that plays in Mestis, better known as the Finnish second league.

While it may seem like an incident that is incredibly improbable to happen more than once, this isn’t the first case of drunk driving involving a Zamboni or other ice resurfacer. 

- In December 2015, a man in rural Manitoba was “banging up against the boards and missing areas” of the ice as he drove the Zamboni, according to Global Winnipeg. The man was later charged with impaired driving when he refused to take a breathalyzer and resisted arrest.

- A 27-year-old Fargo, N.D., man was charged with impaired driving and had a BAC of .314, nearly four times the legal limit, in a Dec. 31, 2014 incident. He was sentenced to nine days in jail, a $1,500 fine and had to take part in a state sobriety program.

- In May 2013, a 24-year-old man who was under the influence “hijacked” a Zamboni from the Cox Convention Center in Tulsa, Okla., went for a spin around the ice and crashed into the boards in a few areas. He was eventaully detained by building security.

- A 34-year-old man in Apple Valley, Minn., was operating a Zamboni while drunk and, according to the Associated Press, took half an hour to resurface the ice in February 2012. He failed a sobriety test.

- A Zamboni driver in Kingsville, Ont., ended up slumped over the wheel after running into the boards and driving erratically while cleaning the ice in. The woman, 34, was charged with impaired driving.

- This one is a real oddity: A 64-year-old New Jersey man was cleared of drunk driving charges in 2007 because a judge ruled a Zamboni is not a motor vehicle. He was over the legal BAC limit by .04 and had all the penalties overturned, including having his license back. 

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