Nearly a year after the incident, Dustin Byfuglien won’t have to worry about facing jail time for boating while impaired. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless boating, which will carry less severe repercussions. If found guilty of boating while impaired, he could have faced up to one year in prison.
Instead, Byfuglien is sentenced to one year of probation, two days of public service, a $1,000 fine, and one day in an alcohol education program. While Byfuglien was not charged with being impaired while driving his boat, he did have alcohol in his system, testing at a .031 blood-alcohol content after being stopped on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. The legal limit is .08. Police stopped Byfuglien because his navigation lights were not on.
Byfuglien’s sentencing of public service will include garbage pickup and other tasks of that nature. This was decided after the judge denied the defense’s request to fulfill the public service by signing autographs and doing hockey-related charitable work. I wonder if anyone can find one of those pointy paper picks long enough for Big Buff when it’s time for him to clean up Minnesota?
As for the Winnipeg Jets and True North, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff offered the following statement on their behalf:
“After allowing the legal process to play out, we are thankful to see this matter resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved. As an organization, the Winnipeg Jets are happy this is behind Dustin and he can look forward to the upcoming hockey season, along with the rest of the team and their passionate fan base.”
Once Big Buff is done playing garbage man, he can put this behind him and always remember to light up his boat at night. I’m sure the Jets are very relieved that this situation played out the way it did, especially with how many precarious headlines have surrounded the team this summer.