PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) - A Van Buren County district judge found a former Portage teacher guilty of being "super drunk" in a case that involved legal twists and turns since her arrest in July 2011.
The judge found Leslie Buscher guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a high blood alcohol content (Michigan's "super drunk" law), operating while intoxicated with an occupant under 16 years old, and having an open intoxicant.
Buscher was arrested after Van Buren County Sheriff's deputies found her around 3:30 p.m. on July 15, 2011 in an SUV north of the intersection of County Road 652 and Red Arrow Highway.
The Sheriff's Department said Buscher was passed out and unresponsive, slumped over the steering wheel when they arrived on scene. There were two young children -- ages 2 and 4 -- in the car.
A party cup half full of vodka was found inside the vehicle, they said.
Police say she had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of more than .40 at the time of her arrest -- five times over the legal limit of .08.
During a show cause hearing earlier this year, Buscher's attorney successfully argued the arrest was made on private property and the officer had no right to make the arrest.
But authorities told 24 Hour News 8 witnesses reported the car had only been on the side of the road for several minutes -- a short enough time to convince officers she had driven it there while intoxicated.
The prosecutor appealed the dismissal to the Circuit Court. The charges were reinstated, and her trial was set for October.
The judge made his decision Wednesday. A sentencing date has not been set.
Buscher resigned from Portage Public Schools on Sept. 14.
Fred Glespie was found not guilty in the death of three children who died in an apartment fire.
Police are looking for the suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at a gas station in Plainwell Thursday night.
The rink will be open that day from 3-9 p.m.