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Report: Khabibulin drops DUI appeal process; headed to jail

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The Canadian Press
7/26/2011 7:25:58 PM
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PHOENIX -- Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on Tuesday withdrew an appeal to his extreme drunken-driving conviction, accepting a 30-day jail sentence.

Khabibulin had appealed the jail term after being sentenced back in August of last year.

But his Phoenix lawyer, Mark DuBiel, said Tuesday that Khabibulin wanted to drop the appeal because the case likely would have prevented him from going to the Oilers' training camp and could have lasted into the season.

"Despite assurances by legal counsel regarding the strength of my appeals case, I have decided to withdraw my appeal and proceed with sentencing," Khabibulin said in a statement. "Once completed, I eagerly anticipate a timely return to Edmonton for training camp, where I will strive to be the best player, teammate and citizen possible."

The 38-year-old played for Phoenix from 1996-99. He signed a four-year, US$15 million deal with Edmonton in 2009.

DuBiel said Khabibulin will serve the first 15 days of his sentence in jail with work release and the other half of his sentence under house arrest. He will have to wear an ankle monitor and is subject to random alcohol testing.

Khabibulin also was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and complete an alcohol program.

Khabibulin was pulled over in his Ferrari near his Phoenix-area home on Feb. 8, 2010, after the car was clocked at 70 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone.

Police said an officer smelled alcohol and Khabibulin was arrested after a field sobriety test showed his blood-alcohol level at .164, more than double the legal limit.

Nikolai Khabibulin (Photo: Greg Fiume/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Greg Fiume/NHLI via Getty Images)
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