It seems an interesting BWI case has developed involving a well know professional hockey player.
Criminal charges have been filed against Minnesota native Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets defenseman, following his refusal to provide urine sample after being pulled over while aboard his boat.
Before he was asked to take the urine test, 26-year old Byfuglien willfully took and passed the preliminary Breathalyzer test with a registered alcohol content level of .03 which is below the .08 legal limit in Minnesota.
Report says that Hennepin County sheriffs pulled over Byfuglien and his three passengers on Aug. 31 at 8:15 pm because the navigational lights of Byfuglien’s boat were not on. Police conducted a routine inspection of the boat and asked the Winnipeg Jets’ defenseman if he had been drinking, to which Byfuglien admitted of consuming one drink.
After the preliminary Breath Test was administered, which Byfuglien passed, the sheriff’s department asked for his urine sample but Byfuglien refused to provide it.
Under the Minnesota state law, it’s considered a gross misdemeanor if an individual believed to be driving while impaired (or boating), refuses to submit to an evidentiary chemical test of his or her breath, blood or urine. In the case of Byfuglien, it’s “boating while intoxicated.”
As established by Minnesota criminal law, refusal to comply with a chemical test is an aggravating factor which can lead to a maximum jail time of one year and a maximum fine of $3,000.
These potential penalties imposed against Byfuglien would not be so severe if he had complied with the urine test request, even if it resulted in a reading of .08 BAC or higher.
Byfuglien was held in a local police station and was released after about three hours. He was reported to be cooperative although wondering why a secondary chemical test was insisted by the police officers despite the results of his preliminary breath test.
Even Byfuglien’s DWI attorney wasn’t sure of the reason why police arrested his client. Byfuglien mistakenly believed that not submitting to the urine test was the most sensible move to make under the circumstances so he refused to take the urine test, the attorney added.
To obtain a criminal conviction for the crime of Refusal, the state does not need to prove that the defendant was, in fact, under the influence of alcohol, but only that the officer’s had probable cause to believe he was under the influence of alcohol and the defendant, after his implied consent rights and right to counsel were vindicated, refused to submit to an evidentiary chemical test.
Boating while intoxicated must be avoided to ensure everyone’s safety. Furthermore, refusal to submit to chemical test carries potentially severe consequences which immediately need legal action by an experienced DWI and BWI attorney.
If you’re charged with DWI or BWI, Douglas T. Kans, a top Minnesota DUI lawyer, is ready to defend your rights and provide you with the comprehensive legal services that you need in order to ensure the best possible resolution of your case. You can contact Kans Law Firm anytime at (888) 972-6060 for a free case review.