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Byfuglien charged with drunken boating

Sept. 20, 2011 at 6:39 PM   |   Comments

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was charged Tuesday in Minneapolis with boating while intoxicated and three other misdemeanor counts.

Byfuglien, 26, also faces a gross misdemeanor charge for refusing to submit to blood or alcohol testing stemming from an Aug. 31 incident in which he was arrested on a Twin Cities-area lake by Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies, the Star Tribune reported.

The other charges include piloting a boat with no navigational lights illuminated and having an insufficient number of personal flotation devices available.

Authorities said a preliminary breath test at the scene showed Byfuglien's level of intoxication was less than the legal limit but that he showed signs of impairment.

Authorities also alleged Byfuglien appeared to be under the influence of an unnamed controlled substance at the time of his arrest.

Ben Hankinson, Byfuglien's agent, told the newspaper the star defenseman "has a clean record and has never been charged with anything. He's a high-character kid. It's a bad situation he's going through. In the end, everything will be fine."

The incident could complicate the Minneapolis native's ability to enter Canada as the Jets prepare for their first season in Winnipeg after relocating from Atlanta.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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