Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 25, 2013

Mayor faces OWI charge

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City’s mayor awaits arraignment on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge.

City police stopped Michael Estes, 63, Wednesday at about 9 p.m. after his pickup truck was spotted weaving across turn and bike lanes on Eighth Street.

A breath test taken at Grand Traverse County jail found Estes’ blood-alcohol content was .12, above the .08 legal limit for driving.

“I asked Estes if he had anything to drink on this evening, and he indicated he did have one beer,” the arresting officer stated in his report. “Estes did state he knew he ‘shouldn’t have.’ I asked Estes where he had drank his alcohol, and he indicated while at home.”

Estes was released from jail about 3 a.m. on an interim $100 bond and awaits arraignment in 86th District Court on a first-offense operating while intoxicated charge.

The police report stated an Traverse City police officer driving east on Eighth Street reported a red Ford F-150 pickup truck crossed over the center turn lane line and then “weaved to the right portion of the roadway” into a bicycle lane for a half block. The officer started a traffic stop about 9 p.m. when the truck signaled a turn into the Family Fare grocery store parking lot at Eighth and Rose streets.

“As the vehicle pulled into the parking lot and made a right turn to attempt to stop, it did strike the curb,” the report stated.

Estes initially provided the officer with two expired proof of insurances and was “apologetic.” The officer smelled alcohol and noted Estes had “watery and glassy eyes.”

Estes failed several field sobriety tests and blew a .101 blood-alcohol level on a preliminary breath test, reports stated.

Estes was arrested “without incident” and transported to Grand Traverse County’s jail, the report states. Traverse City Police Chief Michael Warren didn’t return a call for comment.

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