Sep 222011

The saga of Dustin Byfuglien’s August 31 boating DWI on a Minnesota lake is nearly a month old and its still churning out little nuggets seemingly by the day.

Now a police report released Tuesday says Byfuglien’s breathalyzer count was .03, well under the legal limit of .08 in Minnesota, but they still suspected the burly blue liner of being impaired by drugs due to slurred speech and an inability to pass a field sobriety test.  Byfuglien admitted to having 2 or 3 glasses of wine at dinner, which he and his party were traveling from at the time they were stopped by police.  Noted in the police report was the presence of a brown stain on Byfuglien’s tongue.   Byfuglien was stopped by police at a Lake Minnetonka check point because he did not have proper lights on his boat, according to a Winnipeg Free Press report.

Byfuglien would not submit to a blood test, which is why he was arrested.  He currently faces an October 21 court date.  He faces four criminal counts – (1) Boating while intoxicated, (2) refusing to give a blood or urine sample, (3) not having proper lights on his boat and (4) not supplying enough floatation devices for himself and his passengers.  There were a total of four people on the boat at the time.

According to the Free Press report, Byfuglien’s pulse, blood pressure and body temperature were all abnormally high, which, packaged with the presence of the mysterious brown stain, led a police drug recognition expert to believe Byfuglien was under the influence of a controlled substance.

The DWI carries a maximum of 90 days in jail while the refusal to submit a blood or urine test carries a possible sentence of up to one year.

At the time of the Aug 31 arrest, Byfuglien explained his uneven state saying he’d taken a muscle relaxer (a/k/a “downer”) earlier in the day, but could not remember the name of the drug he took.

Also, Byfuglien told police he takes a “handful” of supplements each day from 16-17 different bottles, but could not tell police the names of those supplements or what they were for.

Byfuglien appeared in his first game as a member of the new Jets in Winnipeg Tuesday night.  He was quick to make an impression, drilling two Blue Jackets players and dropping the gloves with Cody Bass, all in his first shift.  Byfuglien finished with 2 assists in a 6-1 Winnipeg victory.

Combining muscle relaxers and alcohol is not a wise decision.  Couple that with, by Byfuglien’s own admission, not knowing exactly what supplements he was taking, its likely the alcohol + downer mix is what caused his impairment. Because Byfuglien didn’t submit blood or urine samples, the prosecutor will never be able to prove otherwise.  And no one but Byfuglien, and perhaps his friends present at the time, will ever know for sure.

Still, Byfuglien should be more careful, and aware period, of what he’s putting into his body.

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  5 Responses to “Byfuglien’s brown stain and 4 criminal counts”

  1. Not good, and I’d doubt he took a “muscle relaxer”, because frankly few of them are actually recreational. It is far more likely he took either and Opiate Pain Medication and /or an Anti-Anxiety drug like Xanax. This summer, some very ugly parts of the Hockey World were brought into the light. We all know that Pro Hockey has always accepted and even encouraged Heavy Drinking, but now we are starting to see drugs come into the picture. No, I haven’t forgot about Probert, but I am just saying it seems like we are seeing more and more articles about hockey players using drugs.

    Its a painful sport and these guys get access to all sorts of stuff. It is not hard to develop a problem with this stuff and it really sneaks up on people. Especially young guys who think they are invincible.

    The NHL has a very very lax drug testing program. I wouldn’t be surprised if measures are taken to strengthen it.

    • You have to take Byfuglien’s statement to the arresting officers at face value. And whatever he took, I tend to doubt it was just one. I’m basically the same size as Byfuglien. I know when I take something like aspirin, if the bottle says take two, I look in the mirror then take three or four. If its doctor described, I do take as directed, but its a mentality you have as a 6-4 265lb person.

      The concern I have for him, and every player (tons are doing this) is he’s taking these pills and mixing it with alcohol three weeks before training camp begins. Yes, players are expected to be year-round athletes nowadays, but if he can’t cope with off-season stress he’s putting his body through, consider how many pills he’ll be taking in February, March or even May. Top it off with the idea he has that he can get away with mixing drinks with his meds. Gives you a false sense of invisibility until one day your heart gives in or he’s driving home from a post game meal and drives into a tree or hurts someone else. That’s the scary part.

      Steve, “very very lax” is giving the NHL/NHLPA too much credit. The policy is a joke. The league has known this kind of stuff, PED’s and more goes on for a few years now and they’ve done nothing about it. Finally, it took Mike Cammalleri to come out and say something this summer and the media wouldn’t touch it. You know, because it fighting that’s killing hockey players, not drug abuse, and addictions.

      • The refusal to take the urine sample is what causes me to pause when it comes to the official story. Obviously, he has something in his system that he doesn’t want to be known. Muscle Relaxers do not show up in drug tests.

        Maybe he smoked some weed or something, I could be assuming to much. But you are correct, its the behavior that is the real concern. Many of us have driven a boat after having a few, but doing so while under the influence of addition depressants is dangerous stuff.

        We are finding out more and more in regards to the effects that head injury has on athletes. It appears that is can cause some serious mental health issues such as depression. Add drinking, drug use and enablers and you have a serious issue.

        • Whatever he happened to have in his system, he did the right thing, most likely, not submitting one. I don’t see him going to jail as a first time offender. Giving urine/blood samples would have only complicated his life and caused problems for his career, the Jets and the NHL.

          I’d say you hope these guys would at the very least just learn from incidents like these, but they won’t.

  2. Also, we have seen how PED use and the infamous “greenies” (amphetamine) use has impacted the public’s view of baseball. Baseball still hasn’t completely shaken off the stigma, and its always going to be in the back of our mind. It is also well known that things like HGH are even harder to detect and its much easier to acquire it in Canada.

    Hockey can ill afford any scandal like that. Baseball is “America’s Past Time”, hockey is still very much a niche sport here.

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