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Byfuglien trial set for July 23

Apr 19, 2012, 3:35 PM EDT

Byfuglien mugshot

After failing to reach a plea agreement, Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will go to trail July 23 in Minneapolis to fight impaired boating charges, reports the Winnipeg Sun.

The charges stem from an Aug. 31 incident on Lake Minnetonka when Byfuglien was arrested for boating while intoxicated. He’s also been charged with refusing to take a chemical test to see if he was under the influence of drugs.

“Mr. Byfuglien’s speech was slurred, he was unsteady on his feet, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and he smelled of a consumed alcoholic beverage,” Deputy Ben Bierbaum of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office wrote in the arrest report. “Mr. Byfuglien was unable to successfully perform field sobriety tests as requested.”

Byfuglien did pass a breathalyzer test, registering .03, which is below the legal limit of .08.

Byfuglien’s lawyer, Mitch Robinson, is confident his client will be exonerated, though he’s not sure if he wants to put him on the stand.

Robinson also says it’s not “absolutely clear” whether a conviction could keep Byfuglien from crossing the border to play hockey.

  1. Stiller43 - Apr 19, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    If youre slurring and stumbling at .03, youve been doing wayyyy more serious stuff and have a beer or two casually while doing so.

    Tested myself 10 minutes after two beers just for fun and was at .026…

  2. hockeyflow33 - Apr 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Smelling of alcohol does not equate to consuming it. Seems like a serious assumption on the officers part

  3. govtminion - Apr 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I don’t know Canadian law- hell, I don’t really know American law all that well either, truth be told. But… if he tested below the legal limit, I don’t see what case the prosecutor has. Had alcohol, yes, but not enough to impair him according to the law. Have a nice day. Right?

  4. Stiller43 - Apr 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    I thought it was illegal to boat BELOW the legal limit…what else is there to do on a boat?

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 19, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      Wear your flippy-floppies?

  5. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Were his pupils pinned…? If so, I’d bet my house he was sampling a little Oxycontin, itself the prevailing choice of chronically sore and convalescing athletes pretty much every where. His behavior exceeds the seeming one beer indicator on the breathalyzer…from his perspective, refusing the chemical test is his constitutional right, but driving any conveyance under the influence of a banned substance is utter stupidity regardless of how this plays-out in Court? It’s interesting his lawyer is weighing-in on the effects of a conviction if Buff is all that innocent? One wonders the extent to which sworn testimony from a Peace Officer is weighed against Byfuglien’s refusal to submit to the chemical test? And, will the prosecutor ask to see medical and treatment records from a player who missed much of the season while injured? As an American hoping to enter Canada while carrying a conviction for an indictable offense, his lawyer would have to apply to the Canadian Consulate in Minneapolis in effort to secure a Minister’s Permit from the Employment and Immigration Ministry to live and work in Canada…a process involving a standardized application and a $450.00 processing fee.

  6. moagecu - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    I’m pretty sure you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer on the spot. Many people do this in hopes that by the time the breathalyzer them at the jail they will pass, which it sounds like was done here. I did not know you could be charged for refusing to take a breathalyzer though.

  7. tackledummy1505 - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Unless he was on pain medication and he mixed it with alcohol. That can have a serious effect as well. We all know these athletes go through a lot of things during the season and big guys such as him have issues with their legs at times. Whether it’s a knee or ankle thing. So getting a hold of prescription meds are a bit easier than regular folk. So mix that with a little alcohol can have a huge impact on how you are and how you respond. That still doesn’t mean he was okay to drive the boat. It just means that he probably made an error in judgement and he didn’t know what effects would take place when he did.

  8. id4joey - Apr 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Why don’t we get this stuff out of HockeyTalk? Maybe we can create a new topic for this stuff. Something like ProSportsGossip…

  9. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    http://www.dwi-legal.com/Practice-Areas/Test-Refusal.shtml

    As per the link, when you’re licensed to drive in Minnesota, you implicitly agree to the right of the State to test for drugs or alcohol impairment…Byfuglien took the breathalyzer but refused the chemical test.

    I don’t know about regulating subject matter in any list or forum for the benefit of anyone’s particular appetite: perhaps we should start burning books and sending everyone to the thought police.

    Delete key always works for the feint of heart…

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