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"Zamboni driver skates by drunken driving law"


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  • "Zamboni driver skates by drunken driving law"

    NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- It's not drunken driving in New Jersey if it involves a Zamboni.

    A judge ruled the four-ton ice rink-grooming machines aren't motor vehicles because they aren't useable on highways and can't carry passengers.

    Zamboni operator John Peragallo had been charged with drunken driving in 2005 after a fellow employee at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey, told police the machine was speeding and nearly crashed into the boards.

    Police said Peragallo's blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent. A level of 0.08 is considered legally drunk in New Jersey.

    Peragallo appealed, and Superior Court Judge Joseph Falcone on Monday overturned his license revocation and penalties.

    "It's a vindication for my client," Peragallo attorney James Porfido said after the hearing. "It's the right decision."

    Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph D'Onofrio said no decision had been made on whether to appeal.

    Peragallo, 64, testified at his trial that he did drink beer and vodka, but not until after he had groomed the ice. However, he told police he had a shot of Sambuca with his breakfast coffee and two Valium-pills before work.

    All Gave Some - Some Gave All


  • #2
    California's law skirts that issue with the following wording in section 23152(a)CVC which says:

    "...It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle..."

    The key being "to drive a vehicle" which has been interpreted as:

    670. A "vehicle" is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

    Amended Ch. 987, Stats. 1975. Effective January 1, 1976.

    There are court cases on file which uphold the convictions of persons being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or drugs; or a combination thereof, while riding a bicycle, horse or other conveyence within CA.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


    • #3
      Doesn't surprise me, coming from New Jersey. Somebody told me that search subsequent to arrest is illegal in NJ. That can't be true, can it???

      Under the Michigan MVC, just about anything that is self-propelled is a "motor vehicle". Golf carts, lawn-mowers, farm tractors, mopeds, snowmobiles, 4-wheelers, etc. I know a campus officer that nailed a snotty kid for drunk driving on a golf cart at a local university during a football game.


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