While it certainly seems to happen often enough that it hardly qualifies as “news”, the media has provided a good deal of coverage for 32-year-old Aaron Sawyer’s DUI charges. Sawyer, a Rockford police sergeant, has apparently pled guilty to the DUI charges he was facing, and in return is getting the equivalent of a “get out of jail free card.” Although, to be entirely honest, it isn’t really free, no matter how you break it down.
Sawyer was arrested on Sunday, June 1st, just after 10 in the evening, and released early the following morning on bail. Records show that he was arrested by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, who pulled him over for speeding near the corner of Cannonsburg Road and Northland Drive in Plainfield Township.
However, once his vehicle was stopped, the arresting officer figured out that speeding was likely not the only issue at hand. It was later revealed that Sawyer’s blood alcohol level was higher than 0.17, making him a candidate for Michigan’s “super drunk” law. Shortly thereafter, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office authorized a charge of “driving with a high blood alcohol content of .17 or above.”
Shortly after Sawyer’s arrest, the Rockford Department of Public Safety Chief David Jones released a public statement explaining the department’s actions in response to the arrest. Sawyer was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
Sawyer was offered a plea deal by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office in early July. If he agreed to plead guilty to a DUI charge, the prosecutor would be willing to dismiss the “super drunk charge”. Apparently this is standard procedure for people whose BAC is on the very low end of the “super drunk” limit, and has nothing to do with Sawyer’s status as a police officer.
Sawyer pled guilty to a charge of “operating while intoxicated“, which is a considerably lesser change that the original “super drunk” charge he was facing. In return for his plea, Sawyer will serve no jail time, but rather, will be placed on a year’s probation.