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Traverse County Commissioner Charged with Drunk Driving

Traverse County Commissioner Charged with Drunk Driving.pngChristine Maxbauer, the Chair of the Grand Traverse Board of Commissioners, was recently charged with drunk driving. She had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of twice the legal limit upon hitting a parked car in downtown Traverse City. Maxbauer remained at the scene following the accident and waited for the police to arrive. She took a breath test that resulted in a preliminary BAC of .16%. Maxbauer has been released on $2,500 bond and is required to take twice-daily breathalyzer tests.

A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf as a result of her remaining mute during the arraignment. Maxbauer currently faces a misdemeanor charge of Operating While Intoxicated. She immediately released a statement following her arrest:

"I would like to sincerely apologize to my family, my friends, and most importantly to my constituents and the public at large for my actions of July 7, said Christine Maxbauer. "I am distraught over what has occurred but I am fully prepared to accept the consequences of my actions, whatever they may be."

"I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me with words of support. Our community has shown me a level of kindness and compassion that I believe is unique to Grand Traverse County. I will forever be indebted."

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney filed a petition to the Attorney General's office requesting for a special prosecutor to handle Maxbauer's case. Upon approval, the case has been assigned to Leelanau County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Hubbell. 86th District Court Judge Thomas J. Phillips and Judge Michael S. Stepka also recused themselves of overseeing the case. Phillips provided a brief statement regarding his decision to not participate in the matter:

"The county is our funding; (Maxbauer) would make economic decisions as to the funds district court would receive," Phillips said. "I think there would be an appearance of impropriety (if we presided)."

Maxbauer has reassumed her position as a Commissioner while she awaits her next court date. If convicted, Maxbauer could face up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $100 to $500 with 360 hours of community service.

I invite you to contact my law office if you have recently been charged with drunk driving in the Washtenaw County area. I can review your case and provide you with legal guidance and advice on how to best proceed.


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