Jets D Byfuglien charged in boating incident

MINNEAPOLIS — Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been charged with boating while intoxicated three weeks after his arrest in Minnesota.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s office released the criminal complaint Tuesday.

Byfuglien

Byfuglien

According to the complaint, a water patrol officer on Lake Minnetonka stopped Byfuglien’s boat Aug. 31 because the navigational lights weren’t on. According to the officer, Byfuglien’s speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and watery, he was unsteady on his feet and he smelled of alcohol.

There were three people in the boat with him, and Byfuglien refused to take a blood or urine test.

However, Byfuglien’s attorney, Mitch Robinson, told ESPN.com Sept. 13 that the player not only agreed to take a Breathalyzer test when police boarded his boat, but passed, registering a .03, well below the state legal limit of .08.

As for why Byfuglien didn’t submit to the urine test, Robinson said his client was under the mistaken belief that it was the most prudent course to take under the circumstances.

“It’s just bad advice,” Robinson said.

Authorities also said Byfuglien admitted to taking a muscle relaxant but couldn’t remember the name of the drug and he said he takes a “handful of supplements from 16 or 17 different bottles every day.”

Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, in a statement issued by the organization, said the Jets are “fully aware” of the charges against Byfuglien.

“While we will continue to support him in this situation, we understand the severity of the charges involved in this case,” Cheveldayoff said. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and until the continuing legal process is completed, we will have no further comment.”

Byfuglien was charged with third-degree boating while intoxicated, a gross misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail, and refusing to submit to a test. He also was charged with failing to display the proper warning lights on the boat and not having enough flotation devices for everyone on board.

Byfuglien, a Minnesota native, was on the Chicago Blackhawks team that won the Stanley Cup in 2010. He was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in a salary dump. The franchise was relocated to Winnipeg in the offseason.

Messages left for Byfuglien’s attorney by The Associated Press were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Information from ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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