Rep. Rebekah Warren pleads guilty to lesser DUI charge

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Rochester Hills — A state lawmaker pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge in a drunken driving case, possibly avoiding stiffer penalties under the Michigan “Super Drunk” law, according to authorities.

State Rep. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, pleaded guilty in 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills to a reduced charge of misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, first offense. She could be given up to 93 days in jail and fines when she is sentenced March 17.

State Rep. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor

“She pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, which is not that unusual for a first-time offender,” said Auburn Hills Police Lt. Ryan Gagnon. “First offenders have at times been considered for operating while impaired, an even lesser offense.”

Warren was pulled over on Dec. 26 after police and other motorists spotted her weaving through Interstate 75 traffic near Baldwin Road in Auburn Hills, where she drove off the road, bouncing her Jeep Cherokee off a guardrail and back on the freeway.

No other vehicles were involved and no injuries occurred in the incident. Warren, 48, subsequently failed roadside sobriety tests and told the officer she was on her way home to Ann Arbor after attending an event in Detroit.

Warren refused a preliminary Breathalyzer test and would not provide a sample of her blood, so police obtained a search warrant. A blood draw found her blood alcohol content was 0.212 percent, nearly three times the .08 level at which a motorist is considered intoxicated.

Because of her high intoxication rate, Warren could have faced up to 180 days in jail and larger fines under the state's “Super Drunk” law when a BAC is recorded at 0.17 or higher.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Warren said she takes "full responsibility" for the incident.

“As I have previously shared, I deeply regret the decision I made in late December to drive after drinking alcohol," she said. "I thank God that I didn’t harm anyone or myself that night.

“Following that incident, I apologized for my behavior and decisions, and I committed that I would cooperate with the authorities, take full responsibility for my actions and take steps to ensure that this never happens again. Today’s court action was me admitting responsibility, doing exactly what I said I was going to do."

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