Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 4, 2013

Mayor enters guilty plea


— TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired, less than two weeks after his drunken driving arrest.

Estes, 63, pleaded to the reduced charge before Judge Michael Stepka of the 86th District Court. Estes could face up to 93 days in jail.

Stepka ordered a thorough examination of the details of Estes' drinking. Stepka also said he wants more information about a 1994 incident in which Estes was accused of driving while impaired at the time of a crash that injured a woman in Antrim County.

Estes pleaded guilty to reckless driving in that case.

Estes was arrested in Traverse City on Oct. 23 after police spotted his pickup truck weaving across turn and bike lanes on Eighth Street. A breath test taken at Grand Traverse County's jail found Estes’ blood-alcohol content was .12 -- above the .08 legal limit for driving.

Estes was on his way home from a city candidate forum at the time of his arrest.

See Tuesday's Record-Eagle for additional details.