Traverse City Record-Eagle

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October 24, 2013

TC Mayor Estes reacts to arrest

TRAVERSE CITY — "I'm guilty."

Mayor Michael Estes made that statement to the Traverse City Record-Eagle today following his Wednesday evening arrest on a drunken driving charge.

"I really screwed up," Estes said. "I'm too torn up right now to do or say anything else."

Estes said he has not made a decision about whether he will resign as mayor or withdraw from the mayoral race. Less than two weeks remain before voters go to the polls on Nov. 5.

City police stopped Estes, 63, on Eighth Street near Rose Street on Wednesday about 9 p.m. A police statement said a driver crossed the center line and drove into a bike lane. A test showed the driver's blood-alcohol level was .12., above the state's limit of .08 for drunken driving.

Estes was booked into the Grand Traverse County Jail at about 9:40 p.m., jail reports show. He was released just before 3 a.m. today after posting a $100 interim bond, jail officials said.

Estes otherwise has a clean driving record, according to Secretary of State officials.

Estes seeks a second consecutive two-year term as mayor and faces challenger Rick Buckhalter. Estes had attended a candidate forum shortly before his arrest and acknowledged he had been drinking before arriving at the forum around 8:15 p.m.

See Friday's Record-Eagle for additional details.

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