Anybody hoping that the court in Maricopa County, Arizona would throw the book at Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin for his DUI conviction was severely disappointed today as a judge sentenced him to the absolute minimum sentence possible under Arizona law.
Khabibulin will serve 30 days in jail -- potentially in Maricopa County's infamous 'Tent City' -- pay about $1,500 in fines and undergo the minimum amount of "treatment" required by law. Those details come via Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic, who has led the reporting on Khabibulin's trial.
As The Copper & Blue has reported, Khabibulin might only do 10 days in jail, despite the fact that the law says the minimum is 30.
Both sides will have an opportunity to present additional arguments, and it's a foregone conclusion that the defense will ask for 10 days in prison and the other 20 days suspended as part of an agreement in which Khabibulin will undergo psychological evaluation and agree to an alcohol treatment program. The prosecution will likely press for 30 days, and possibly more based on the extreme speed involved in the incident.
That's 10 in prison and the other 20 in treatment. The real minimum sentence. The prosecution clearly didn't press all that hard.
Calling this a slap on the wrist is disrespectful to wrists everywhere.
If you were doing 70 miles per hour in a 45 MPH zone with a blood alcohol content somewhere between 0.15 and 0.20, would you get off this easy? Probably not, especially in a county like Maricopa, which has been known for pretty harsh punishment while under the reign of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
McLellan reports that Khabibulin's defense team will appeal the decision, which seems a little strange considering he couldn't have gotten off much easier here. It's probably more of a ploy to delay his sentencing so he can make it to training camp and play this season.
It'll be interesting to see what the Oilers have to say about the sentence. A statement from the team is expected later this evening.