CASSOPOLIS — A Naperville, Ill., man has the unflattering distinction of being the first defendant in Cass County convicted at a jury trial for violating Michigan’s "Super Drunk" law.
Charles Ryan, 49, was convicted this week in Cass County Court of operating while intoxicated, stemming from a May 15 incident in which Ryan is accused of driving his Chrysler 300 off Maple Island Road in Silver Creek Township with a blood-alcohol level of 0.23.
The "Super Drunk" legislation that took effect in October 2010 is geared to give harsher penalties for those with a BAC of .17 or above. It calls for a sentence up to 180 days in jail. The traditional drunk driving law, triggered by a .08 BAC, caries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail.
Cass County Sheriff Deputies testified they found the defendant slumped over the wheel of his sedan, which was on a lawn near a home just off Maple Island Road.
The homeowner turned off the car and removed the keys. He feared that Ryan might get the car back into gear and drive into his house, according to a news release.
Ryan will be sentenced Nov. 10.