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Joel Bruss

Dakota County Jail, Dakota County Jail

Apple Valley Zamboni driver tested at 0.32 alcohol level

  • March 1, 2012 - 11:35 PM

A 34-year-old Apple Valley man accused of drunken driving on a Zamboni in late January had a blood-alcohol content of 0.32 percent -- four times the legal limit, according to court documents.

Joel K. Bruss has been charged in Dakota County District Court with four counts of drunken driving. Three of the charges are gross misdemeanors, one is a misdemeanor.

According to the complaint filed by the Apple Valley city attorney's office, a police officer was sent to the Hayes Ice Arena shortly after 8 p.m. Jan. 30. Witnesses said Bruss, a part-time rink attendant, was driving erratically on the Zamboni and hitting the boards while attempting to resurface the ice between youth games.

The complaint said that when the officer entered the arena, the Zamboni machine was partly off and partly on the ice while the driver was trying to get it unstuck. Once Bruss got off the machine, the officer smelled alcohol on his breath and noted that he was "extremely unsteady" and was hanging onto the Zamboni to keep his balance. Bruss was slurring his words and mumbling and his eyes were red, watery and bloodshot, the complaint said.

Bruss admitted he had been drinking at home earlier that evening and that he had driven himself to work. Shortly before 10 p.m., he agreed to submit a urine sample to measure his blood-alcohol level. The test results showed that it was 0.32 percent. The legal limit to drive in Minnesota is 0.08.

Bruss is to make his first court appearance April 19. He was convicted of drunken driving in 2002 and twice in 1999.

PAT PHEIFER

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