GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) - The Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office declined to charge a Kent County sheriff's deputy under Michigan's "super drunk" driving law, though his blood alcohol content level was high enough to do so.
Deputy Ed Kolakowski was arrested on drunk driving charges March 3, only a week after he was lauded as one of six deputies who helped save a family from a smoke-filled apartment. He pleaded guilty to one count of operating while impaired on March 5.
A Breathalyzer test showed Kolakowski's blood alcohol content (BAC) level was .17, which is more than twice the legal limit.
He could have been charged with operating with BAC of .17 or higher -- the "super drunk" law -- but prosecutors declined that charge because Kolakowski's BAC was "right on the border," according to Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz.
Frantz said Kolakowski was originally charged by the arresting officer with simple drunk driving. He says his office reviewed the case and decided not to increase the charge for a number of reasons, including that this was Kolakowski's first offense.
Frantz also said the borderline level would have made an increased charge harder to defend in court.
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