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Michigan Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated

Earlier this month, a 29-year-old police officer with the Sturgis Police Department pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated. According to one local news report, the charge that he was ultimately convicted of was a lesser offense than the original charge, which was operating a vehicle with a high blood-alcohol content.

Evidently, the police officer was cited back on October 26 of last year, after he was allegedly involved in an alcohol-related accident in Kalamazoo County. The accident, which took place on South 44th Street near East PQ Avenue in Climax, didn’t result in any injuries. However, when police officers arrived on the scene, they reported that their fellow officer had red, bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.

After the accident, police took the officer to the station where his blood was taken. It came back that his blood-alcohol content at the time of the accident was over .17. This is more than twice the legal limit in Michigan.

The officer who pleaded guilty to the OWI offense avoided the possible 93-day period of incarceration, as well as any probation. Instead, he was ordered to pay a fine of $675. Had he rejected the offer and been convicted of the original charge of high-BAC OWI, he could have faced a total of six months of incarceration.

As a result of the accident, the officer was placed on a mandatory two-week suspension back in November. In addition, he was required to take part in a mandatory counseling course focused on the dangers of drinking, especially drinking and driving.

Various OWI Offenses in Michigan

The State of Michigan has determined that there should be several gradations of drunk driving, depending mostly on the level of alcohol in the driver’s blood. The first offense is the regular OWI, which covers blood-alcohol contents between .08 and .17. If a driver’s BAC is above .17, the offense is graded as a High-BAC OWI.

A High-BAC OWI is a much more serious crime, and it is graded as a felony punishable by up to:

  • 180 days in jail,
  • A fine of up to $700, but not less than $200,
  • Up to 360 hours of community service, and
  • A one-year license suspension or, in appropriate cases, a one-year mandatory ignition interlock device.

Have You Been Charged With a Michigan OWI Offense?

While the repercussions for a High-BAC offense are more serious than a regular OWI, any OWI offense is potentially serious and should be treated as such. If a driver is convicted of two OWI offenses within a seven-year period, the mandatory sentence drastically increases, potentially leaving you with a lengthy jail sentence and a substantial monetary fine. To learn how you can defend against an OWI charge, contact a dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney today to discuss your case. Attorney Steven Schwartz has more than 20 years’ experience defending Michigan residents against all kinds of criminal prosecutions, including OWI charges. To contact attorney Schwartz to discuss your case, call (240) 930-5019 today to set up a free consultation.

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