The intoxicated boating charges that marred Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien’s offseason have resurfaced.
The All-Star blueliner will see his case resume on Thursday in Minneapolis, and while he won’t appear in court — Byfuglien’s currently with the Jets in Tampa Bay — his lawyer will be angling for a reduced charge.
“What we’d like to see is something not alcohol or drug related,” Mitch Robinson told the QMI Agency. “A reasonable settlement would be something to the effect of careless boating. Careless boating is something we can live with.”
(In related news, “Careless boating is something we can live with” just moved atop my Favorite Athlete-Related Quotes of 2012 list.)
On Aug. 31, Byfuglien was charged with BWI — boating while intoxicated — and refusing a blood or urine test, as well as boating without navigational lights and without enough flotation gear for the people on board. A Hennepin County (Lake Minnetonka) sheriff’s deputy said Byfuglien’s speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol when pulled over; there’s also the issue of a “distinct brown stain” on Byfuglien’s tongue that made its way into the police report.
Robinson will meet with the prosecutor and judge in a settlement conference on Thursday.
“Most cases are settled at the settlement conference,” Robinson said. “It depends what we could hammer out tomorrow.”
Robinson added that it’ll be up to Byfuglien to either accept or reject whatever deal is worked out. If Byfuglien refuses any kind of guilty plea, the matter would go to trial.