The Final Update
29-year-old Brian Lee Stuck, the Sturgis Police officer whose “super drunk” accident made news all over the state, was scheduled to stand trial last week. But only one day before his trial date, Stuck accepted a plea offer that will keep him out of jail and cost him less than $1,000 in fees.
According to court documents, Stuck was originally charged with two misdemeanors – operating a motor vehicle with a high BAC of 0.17 percent or higher, also known in Michigan as driving “super drunk”, which is punishable by up to six months in jail with possible fines of up to $700. The second charge was operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, which is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, and a possible fine of up to $500.
He pled not guilty to both charges, but then at the last moment chose to accept a plea offer. He pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. In return the prosecution dismissed the “super drunk” charge.
One might think that Stuck got off easy in this case of a police officer DUI, but apparently the plea offer is relatively standard fare for prosecutors in these types of cases. It is determined based on the defendant’s BAC level, level of cooperation during the investigation, and criminal history, among other things.
Kalamazoo County District Judge Richard A. Santoni sentenced Stuck to pay court costs and fees totaling $675. However, Officer Stuck was not sentenced to spend any time in jail, nor was he put on probation or required to participate in any community service.
Luckily for Stuck, although he was suspended from the police force following the accident, he did not lose his job as a result. Rather, the Sturgis Police Department required that, in order to stay on the force, he had to attend mandatory counseling for alcohol abuse, and also sign a “last chance” agreement with the department.
We hope that Officer Stuck learns some valuable lessons from this encounter, and goes on to enjoy a long and productive career with his department. It is also our hope that this particular situation provides him with compassion and understanding in his dealings with future drunk drivers. We wish him all the best.