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Former NHL star Bourque gets probation for drunk driving

South Carolina sports fans may be interested to learn that former NHL defenseman Ray Bourque has been sentenced to one year of probation following his drunk driving arrest in June. In addition, he lost his driver's license for 225 days.

According to media reports, Bourque, age 55, struck a van while driving his Mercedes in Andover, Massachusetts, on June 25. No one was injured in the collision, but the van was damaged. Andover police said the former Boston Bruins player had a blood alcohol content level of .249, which is more than three times the legal limit.

Two days after being taken into custody, Bourque pleaded not guilty at a hearing to a charge of operating a motor vehicle while inebriated. However, at a later hearing, the Hockey Hall of Famer delivered "an admission of sufficient facts," which means the case will be resolved without a conviction if he successfully completes his probation. The judge also suspended his driver's license for 45 days, which is in addition to the 180-day suspension he received for refusing a chemical test after his arrest.

Bourque played 22 seasons in the NHL, amassing 1,579 points in 1,612 games. His jersey number, 77, is retired by both the Avalanche and the Bruins.

Individuals convicted of drunk driving can face harsh penalties, including jail time, fines and license suspension. However, defendants may be able to avoid conviction if they contact an attorney immediately after their arrest. In some cases, it may be possible to dispute breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, which could lead to a dismissal of charges. In other situations, legal counsel could negotiate for a plea deal that reduces charges.

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