State legislator rolls car, faces DWI charges

| May 9, 2021 | Brian E. Gordon, Criminal Defense, Gordon & Hess, PLC |

State legislators in Michigan live in something of a glass bubble. Every time they stray into one or more kinds of impropriety, they are immediately subject to criticism from several sources. A prime example of this phenomenon is the recent arrest of Rep. Bryan Posthumus, who represents the eastern part of Grand Rapids and nearby townships.

The incident

The police report containing the facts of the incident was released on May 3, but the incident occurred on April 30. Police were first notified about 6:00 p.m. of a drunken driver by a witness who called 911 to say that a vehicle was “all over the road, [and that the driver was] possibly intoxicated.” Another witness told police that the vehicle had rolled over but landed on its wheels.

When police arrived, they found the 2007 Jeep Cherokee in the middle of McCabe Avenue. Police surveyed the scene and found clear tire tracks leading from the ditch to a nearby tree. They interviewed Rep. Posthumus, but he said that he did not remember rolling over or hitting the tree. He was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation of his medical condition. Tests of his blood-alcohol content showed a concentration of 0.13% alcohol (A motorist is presumed to be intoxicated if his blood-alcohol content exceed 0.8 He was then taken to Kent County Correctional Facility, where he posted a $100 bond and was released.

The next steps

When police investigated Rep. Posthumus’ past driving record, they found that he had a 2013 conviction for operating while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty to the charge after it was reduced from driving with a high blood-alcohol content. The defendant will be arraigned in a few weeks, and he will be required to enter a plea to the charge of driving while intoxicated in this latest incident. The existence of a prior conviction for the same offense may increase the severity of any penalties imposed by the court if Rep. Posthumus is convicted of the current charges. Anyone facing similar alcohol-related charges, especially if a prior conviction is involved, may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence, suggestion of possible defense arguments and strategies and, when appropriate, assist in negotiating an acceptable plea agreement with the prosecutors.