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Zamboni driver's blood-alcohol level was over three times legal limit

By Archie Ingersoll / The Forum

A 27-year-old man accused of driving a Zamboni while drunk at a high school hockey game had a blood-alcohol level of over three times the legal limit, police said.

A preliminary breath test showed that Steven James Anderson had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30 percent on Friday night, said Lt. Joel Vettel, a Fargo police spokesman. The limit in North Dakota is 0.08 percent.

Anderson was arrested during the Davies and Williston girls’ game at South Sports Arena after spectators noticed him driving erratically while resurfacing the ice.

Relieved of his duties right after his arrest, Anderson was officially fired Monday, said Jim Larson, director of finance and human resources for the Fargo Park District, which runs the arena.

Larson said Anderson was working alone Friday, and because of what happened, park district officials are trying to ensure that two staff members are always on duty during high school hockey games. This would improve safety, allow for a replacement Zamboni driver and possibly prevent another similar incident, he said.

The district already has two employees staffing high school games at its three other indoor rinks. South Sports Arena did not have a second employee on duty Friday because high school games are usually not held there, Larson said.

Anderson, a part-time seasonal employee, had worked for the park district off and on for six years, Larson said.

“His supervisor had indicated that they had not had performance issues with him before,” Larson said. “The supervisor did not see this coming in any way.”

Anderson was charged Monday in Fargo Municipal Court with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. Reached by phone, he declined to comment on the charge.

Last month, Anderson pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and possession of marijuana paraphernalia, both misdemeanors, municipal court records show.

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