Downstate sheriff agrees to plea after DUI arrest

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The sheriff of Midland County, Scott Stephenson, now has a criminal record to go with his political one.

According to body camera tape of the arrest, Stephenson was originally taken into custody sometime around 4 p.m. on Nov. 16, after a Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department deputy discovered him while responding to reports of a man being slumped over in his vehicle on the side of M-66, just south of Lund Road, in Garfield Township.

The Midland County sheriff, who said he was on a hunting trip to the area, admitted to have had at least four beers while in Gladwin earlier that day.

The Kalkaska County deputy was assisted at the scene by Garfield Township Police Chief Jerry Cannon, himself the former sheriff of Kalkaska County, as they had Stephenson perform field sobriety tests, as well as a hand-held breathalyzer test.

Stephenson seemed, in the tape, to struggle with the tests, blowing a 0.233 in the breathalyzer. According to state law, a person is considered legally intoxicated when their blood-alcohol level is 0.08 or above and is “super drunk” if that passes the 0.17 mark.

Stephenson was later transported to the Kalkaska Memorial Health Center for a blood test. However, local officials have reportedly stated they have not yet received the results of that test.

During a Dec. 13 hearing in the 87-B District Court, Stephenson entered a guilty plea to one count of operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired. That came in accordance with an agreement with the Kalkaska County Prosecutor's Office, with a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated being dismissed as part of the deal.

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