Nikolai Khabibulin, the only goaltender currently contract with the
Edmonton Oilers, now finds himself facing possible jail after an Arizona
court ruled today that he will face trial for his DUI charges stemming
from a February arrest.
lawyer for the 37-year-old was in an Arizona courtroom today
attempting to have his client’s impaired driving charges dropped. Mark
DuBiel argued that Khabibulin shouldn’t have had to undergo a field
sobriety test because he had recently undergone back surgery.
DuBiel says his client’s constitutional rights were violated and it
would have been hard for him to pass the tests even if he was sober. The
motion to suppress was denied though.
don’t know all of the facts in the case, but it seems as though there
may be solid case against Khabibulin — back surgery or not. He’s facing
charges for speeding over 70 mph in a 45 mph zone and is charged with a
DUI with a blood-alcohol lever of .08 or more.
understand the attempts at trying to get the charges dismissed based on a
technicality. It happens all the time. Yet I have zero tolerance for
drunk drivers, or even those getting behind the wheel who have had just
“a few drinks.” That may be harsh, but if there is any chance that
Khabibulin was driving while intoxicated then he deserves to face those
charges in court.
He’ll likely get nothing but probation, although
it’s unclear what steps the Oilers or even the NHL might take as part
of their own punishment.