Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 10, 2014

Authorities: Man drunkenly drove SUV down snowmobile trail

BY MATT TROUTMAN
mtroutman@record-eagle.com

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MAPLE CITY — A Maple City man borrowed a vehicle for a late-night spin to McDonalds and ended up drunkenly tooling down a snowmobile trail in a neighboring county.

Leelanau County Undersheriff Steve Morgan said the suspect, 19, told deputies early Friday that he intended to go two-tracking. Instead, the suspect buried a white Ford Explorer he borrowed on a snowmobile trail near West Kasson Center Road, where a passerby saw and reported it.

About two hours later and 27 miles away, a woman at Turtle Creek Casino reported to tribal police that she gave an acquaintance permission to drive her Ford Explorer to the McDonalds restaurant in Acme Township, but he hadn't returned. The acquaintance turned out to be the driver who ended up on the Kasson Township snowmobile trail.

"It looks like he might have detoured to somewhere else," Morgan said.

Authorities said the man smelled "heavily" of alcohol, tested a .118 blood-alcohol content and also didn't have a driver's license. Deputies arrested the suspect on an operating while intoxicated charge and transported him to Leelanau County's jail, where he awaits arraignment.

Morgan said the suspect likely won't be charged with stealing the vehicle because the owner gave him permission to drive.