August 14, 2005


Drunk Zamboni man couldn't hit blue line (Graeme Hamilton, August 13, 2005, National Post)

A judge has fined a Victoriaville, Que., man $1,350 and suspended his driver's licence for a year after the man pleaded guilty this week to driving a Zamboni with four times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

Police were called to Pavillon Jean-Beliveau last Oct. 9 after spectators at a hockey match became alarmed by the erratic conduct of Lionel Laquerre, a municipal employee, at the wheel of the ice-resurfacing machine.

"They had noticed that the driver smelled of alcohol and that he was making manoeuvres described as dangerous on the rink," Jean-Francois Royer, a Victoriaville prosecutor familiar with the file, said yesterday. "He was running into the boards, he was turning in circles. He was not cleaning the ice like you would normally expect it to be done."

Police officers surmised Mr. Laquerre was in an advanced state of inebriation, but before placing him under arrest they checked with a lawyer to make sure impaired Zamboni driving is a crime.

"It's not every day the police are confronted with drunk Zamboni drivers," Mr. Royer said.

One would have hoped being a Zamboni man might be a more honorable profession than lawyering.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 14, 2005 12:00 AM

I'm suspect that drinking was his way of dealing with his fear of having to operate this death machine on such an unsafe surface. When does Nader step up and declare these death traps to be unsafe at any speed?

Posted by: Patrick H at August 14, 2005 11:09 AM

They need to go back to the old water barrel, with the scraper in front and two guys skating behind and pushing. Think of the thousands of lives that could potentially be saved by removing the threat drunken Zamboni drivers terrorizing skating rinks across North America.

Posted by: John at August 14, 2005 1:13 PM

The President of MADZ is on Larry King tonight.

Posted by: Peter B at August 14, 2005 1:39 PM