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Jay Bouwmeester arrested for drunk driving


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EDMONTON -- Jay Bouwmeester, a defenseman with the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers, plans to contest a drunk-driving charge laid during the summer in his Edmonton hometown.


Defense lawyer Alex Pringle appeared in provincial court Wednesday on Bouwmeester's behalf and entered a not guilty plea. A trial date was set for June 14.


Bouwmeester, 22, was arrested Aug. 12 near Whyte Avenue, a popular nightclub area that gained notoriety for the drunken revelry there during last spring's Stanley Cup run by the Edmonton Oilers.


Bouwmeester was charged with impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of more than .08.


Police allege he was nabbed around 4 a.m. by an off-duty police officer who "observed his vehicle swerving."


Bouwmeester, who was in Edmonton participating in a conditioning camp, had been bandied about as a possible acquisition for the Oilers following Chris Pronger's trade request.


Bouwmeester finished fifth in team scoring last season with five goals and 41 assists. He was one of three Panthers to play in all 82 games and led the team in ice time, averaging over 25 minutes per game.


Copyright 2006 Canadian Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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