Byfuglien will fight drunk-boating charge: lawyer

The lawyer of Dustin Byfuglien said the Winnipeg Jets defenceman will fight a criminal charge stemming from an alleged drunk-boating incident in Minnesota.

Byfuglien, 26, is expected to be formally charged with one count of refusing a blood or urine sample, after he was arrested on Aug. 31 on Lake Minnetonka near Minneapolis.

It is alleged that Byfuglien was boating while intoxicated. The Hennepin County Sherriff's Office has said he refused to take a blood or urine test.

But Mitch Robinson, Byfuglien's lawyer, said his client did not know it was illegal to refuse the test.

"I think he was just provided with bad legal advice. He was informed that you should always refuse to take the test, which is unfortunate because he was a .03 blood alcohol concentration," Robinson told CBC News on Tuesday.

"He should have taken the test. We could have easily shown that he wasn't under the influence of anything."

Robinson said Byfuglien was stopped on the lake by a sheriff's officer because his boat did not have lights on it.

Byfuglien did agree to undergo a breathalyzer test, which he passed, but he was still taken into custody, according to Robinson.

Robinson said when his client called from jail, he asked Byfuglien if he had agreed to give a blood or urine sample.

"He said, 'No, I didn't think I was supposed to.' I said, 'Immediately, right now, ask the officer if you can take a test.' And he did, and the officer said, 'I'm not going to allow it at this point,'" Robinson said.

The charge against Byfuglien is expected to be laid within the next week, according to Robinson.

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