If you're a fan of hockey and frequently follow news concerning the sport, then you've probably already heard about the Zamboni driver in another state who was charged with driving under the influence after a spectator reported seeing him "driving erratically" while operating the machine. Although this may seem like a one-of-a-kind case, there have been other cases in which a person has been arrested for DUI while operating a Zamboni.
If you're like some of our Orlando readers, stories like this might get you thinking and wondering if an intoxicated Zamboni driver could also be charged with a DUI here in Florida. If you think there is no way this could happen, you might want to think again.
Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes considers a person to be guilty of driving under the influence if they are operating a vehicle or are in actual physical control of a vehicle and are intoxicated by alcohol, chemicals or other controlled substances. Most people in Florida simply assume that the term vehicle refers only to motor vehicles that operate on our roadways. But it's this loose interpretation of the word vehicle that could leave intoxicated Zamboni drivers driving on thin ice.
If you do not have an understanding of the law and how prosecutors and the courts interpret sections of it, you might find it challenging to fight criminal charges against you. Without a good criminal defense attorney at their side, you might have a difficult time explaining that you didn't realize you were breaking the law and might suffer the legal consequences for it. This is why we'd like to remind all of our readers that they do have the right to legal counsel and should exercise that right when facing serious charges.
Sources: KFGO News, "Zamboni driver charged with DUI enters plea," Paulee Leintz, Feb. 19, 2015
ProHockey Talk, "Minnesota man arrested for DUI…on a Zamboni," Jason Brough, Feb. 1, 2012