Skip to comments.N.J. judge: No such thing as Zamboni DWI
Posted on 04/03/2007 9:47:56 AM PDT by Abathar
NEWARK, N.J. - 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 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.
It is all about the revenue...
I got busted as a 12 year old for riding my motocross bike on the road. they said it was a motor vehicle, even though it couldn’t carry passengers etc.
And yeah, you can haul people around on a zamboni. I’ve gotten rides on them many times.
We have a guy here in town that drives his tractor everywhere, seems there is a loophole about farm vehicles and not being covered by a license.
Yep, how else can you warrant giving a ticket on private property like this. I would have thought that would alone have let him walk, I own 100 acres and if I decide to drive my car around my yard drunk does that mean I will get nailed with a felony?
On public property or private? I didn’t think they could give you a ticket until you were actually on the road, does that mean if a drunk guy pulls his car into his garage he can get hit with a felony?
Can’t wait ‘til lunch!
An unfortunate gentleman from New Hampshire to shares my name was a test case for what is now called Public/Private Property. He was working on his car at the end of his driveway which was 1/4 mile from the access road. He was having a few beers while doing it. The police came on to his property and arrested him for OUI. In order to convict him, the state created the concept of Public/Private Property by which since your driveway meets the road it is shared.
Good for the Judge. I dislike Drunk Drivers and I dislike Madd Mothers even more. They changed their name from Drunk Drivers to Drinking and Driving. They really are against all drinking. They are cut from the same cloth as the anti-smoking zelots. For the record I do not drink, or smoke.
A guy by me was intoxicated and accidentally backed his car, on his own driveway, over the leg of his grandson. His grandson had minor injuries, but the guy was charged with a felony DUI for an accident that occured on his own property.
Yeah, I was on public roads. If this guy was on private property, I don’t see how he could be charged with DUI.
MADD teams up with insurance companies and insuranc ompanies team up with local PD’s, etc. Ever notice how many “DUI Enforcement” units are paid for by insurance companies? The revenues they collect from people who had 3 glasses of wine at a family gathering could buy every town in the country a “dui enforcement” unit and still have tons of money leftover to shre with stckholders.
Yes, I’ve heard that about farm equipment. i’m not sure that I’d be worried about the local sheriff if I was in a John Deere, red-lining, 5th gear wide open at 7mph in the fast lane of a two lane highway though... ;o)
My John deere gets up to almost 21, with a front blade and a rear 8’ bush hogg, he might not want to get too close if I was in a bad mood.....
Horses, bicycles, riding lawnmowers.. ect. This was the right decision.
Drunk Zamboni Operators would be a great name for a rock band.
“machine was speeding”
Does that mean it was going 5 mph as opposed to its normal 4 mph.
Not a "felony", but yes, most states can ticket you for DUI, on your own property. In fact, they can ticket you, if you simply start the car, and do not even put it in gear.
Must have been something like that, after all, they won't go much faster, and the "nearly crashed into the boards" comment wouldn't have included the word "nearly". (Zambonis don't have chains or studs, so they slide quite easily.)
In Ca. you can be arrested for drunk driving on a horse, but not a bicycle. (my caper 30 years ago with a old bum on a bike delivering papers, too hammered to keep from riding in the middle of the street at sun-up, but not so hammered he couldn’t walk the bike and still deliver his papers). Semper Fi.
LOL! Talk about a way to start your day.
Ask George Jones about that.