Sturgis officer pleads not guilty in OWI case

Bryan Lee Stuck, the 29-year-old Sturgis Police Officer who has gained a level of notoriety of late for his very drunk driving accident last month in Kalamazoo County, has chosen to plead not guilty to “super drunk” charges, which will likely land him a trial in the near future.

In the Kalamazoo 8th District Court at his arraignment, Stuck and his attorney, Dave Butler, appeared before Judge Julie Phillips and entered his plea. No information has been released, however, as to why he has chosen to plead not guilty in this OWI case and risk a trial.

Witnesses who were present for the hearing say that the entire process took less than two minutes. Throughout the proceedings, Stuck never said a word and never once betrayed any emotions or responded in any way to his surroundings.

Stuck is facing two separate charges, both of which are misdemeanors. Operating a motor vehicle with a high BAC of 0.17 percent or higher is punishable by up to six months in jail, and fines of up to $700. Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, and a fine of up to $500.

Stuck’s pretrial hearing has been scheduled to take place before Judge Richard Santoni on December 10th. He has posted bail and is currently free, however, his bond was conditional. He is forbidden by court order to purchase or consume any alcohol, or to be present in any locations where alcohol is for sale by the glass.

After the accident, Stuck was placed on paid leave while the Sturgis Police Department investigated the incident, and determined the best course of action. He has since resumed active duty after a two week unpaid suspension, but has signed a last-chance agreement and has also agreed to participate in mandatory counseling.

Stuck’s BAC after the accident was .178, which is more than double Michigan’s legal limit of .08 for driving after drinking alcohol. This reading was taken at the hospital, more than four hours after the accident took place, so it isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of his blood alcohol content at the time of the crash.

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