Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 11, 2014

Drunken driver: 'I screwed up'


---- — Drunken driver: ‘I screwed up’

TRAVERSE CITY — A Beulah man accused of drunkenly running his vehicle off the road and into the snow greeted a Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputy with three words:

“I screwed up.”

Richard Jon Nowland, 69, could repeat those words. Eighty-sixth District Court Judge Michael Haley issued a bench warrant for Nowland’s arrest after he failed to appear for a Wednesday arraignment on a felony third-offense operating while intoxicated charge.

The police report states on Jan. 4 at 3:54 a.m. a plow truck driver came across a car in a ditch near the intersection of Silver Lake Road and Secor Road.

“(The plow truck driver) advised that the gentleman in the driver’s seat told him he had just left a party and was inebriated,” the report states. “The driver told him if he was to call anyone it would (ruin) his life.”

A deputy arrived and found Nowland in the driver’s seat with the car still running and in gear. Nowland performed poorly on field sobriety tests and tested a .12 blood-alcohol content.

Eighty-sixth District Court records state Nowland has three prior operating while intoxicated convictions from 1990, 1993 and 2005. His license remains suspended until he pays reinstatement fees.

Nowland faces a felony operating while intoxicated charge, a driving while license suspended charge and a habitual offender enhancement.