Cavanagh pleads guilty in February drunken driving incident

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Michigan state Rep. Mary Cavanagh pleaded guilty Wednesday in a February drunken driving incident in Livonia. 

The 30-year-old Redford Democrat was initially charged under the state's super drunk law, used when an individual's blood alcohol content is above 0.17. Her plea to a lesser operating while intoxicated charge depends on the lawmaker being accepted into sobriety court and complying with the terms of sobriety court, said Livonia city attorney Paul Bernier. 

Rep. Mary Cavanagh

Cavanagh's sentencing is scheduled for May 6. 

Her attorney, Todd Perkins, did not immediately respond to an email and call seeking comment. 

Cavanagh's plea was first reported by Gongwer News Service

Cavanagh, who formed a committee Feb. 2 to run for the state Senate, was a sponsor of legislation enacted into law in August that allows individuals to petition a judge for the expungement of first-time drunken driving offenses.

Cavanagh's Feb. 25 arrest by Livonia police marked her second time in seven years being arrested by the police agency on suspicion of drunken driving. 

Her February arrest occurred shortly before 3 a.m. Feb. 25 after she was stopped near Interstate 96 and MIddlebelt Road. According to the police report, officers had been following her from Merriman Road to Schoolcraft Road to I-96 to Middlebelt, and observed her driving with two flat tires on the driver's side and then cross the gore, the triangular median between the expressway and exit ramp.

Cavanagh told police she'd been leaving the Livonia Democratic Party site, then later said she was traveling back from Lansing. 

She told officers she'd had "two glasses of red wine" but then failed two field sobriety tests and blew a 0.176 on her preliminary breath test. At the jail, Cavanagh blew 0.2 and 0.19 on subsequent breath tests. 

Cavanagh's charge related to the incident was initially entered incorrectly into the court's computer system as an operating while intoxicated, second offense, Bernier said. The record was later adjusted to reflect the superdrunk charge.