Charges Include Third Offense Operating Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated
Earlier in February, a 44-year-old resident of Paw Paw was arrested for going around a police barricade. Deputies had set up a temporary barricade in the street while they dealt with an accident. But Ryan D. Warmack, who later claimed that he was delivering newspapers, simply drove around it and continued on his way.
Warmack was arrested by a deputy, who then noted that he smelled strongly of alcohol. A subsequent Breathalyzer test revealed that Warmack’s blood-alcohol content was 0.47, which is just below six times Michigan’s legal limit for drivers. In addition, the deputy discovered a number of open, empty beer cans in the vehicle.
Because Warmack has been convicted three times before for DUIs, he now faces both felony and misdemeanor charges for this latest alleged drunk driving incident. He has been charged with single counts of third-offense operating motor vehicle while intoxicated, OWI with a high BAC, and open intoxicant inside of a vehicle. OWI with a high BAC is also referred to as driving “super drunk” in Michigan, which is punishable by stiffer penalties than a standard DUI. These could include up to 180 days in jail, fines of up to $700, and even the possible immobilization of your vehicle.
Under Michigan law, repeated drunk driving charges increase in severity with each conviction within a seven year period. And so the third-offense operating motor vehicle while intoxicated is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and fines of up to $5,000. Other possible punishments could include possible vehicle immobilization for up to 3 years, loss of your driver’s license, and community service requirement of up to 180 days.
Warmack was scheduled to appear in the Van Buren County District Court on February 24th for his next hearing. Thus far, there has been no word on whether or not he is eligible for, or even interested in, sobriety court.