KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The St. Joseph County sheriff had a blood alcohol content level more than three times the legal limit in the hours after a crash on US-131 in February, court records show.
A blood draw about two and a half hours after the crash showed Mark Lillywhite’s BAC was .252, according to a probable cause document filed with the court. The legal limit in Michigan is .08.
The crash happened around 2:20 a.m. Feb. 26 on US-131 south of Schoolcraft. Authorities say Lillywhite, 47, of Three Rivers, was going nearly 100 mph when he rear-ended another car, causing it to roll. No one was seriously hurt.
Michigan State Police say Lillywhite was clearly drunk when troopers arrived, eyes bloodshot, staggering and slurring his words. Police reports show he denied being the driver of his SUV, though there was no one else in it. He refused a roadside breath test. His blood was drawn at the hospital shortly before 5 a.m.
His SUV was registered to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office and was his duty vehicle. There were two pistols and a rifle in it, MSP said.
Last week, the Kalamazoo County prosecutor issued two misdemeanor charges against Lillywhite: a count of operating while intoxicated and a count of carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of alcohol.
Both carry sentences of up to 93 days in jail and fines. If convicted of the weapons charge, his concealed pistol license would be revoked. Neither of the charges would lead the sheriff to lose his certification as a police officer under the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
As of Friday, the undersheriff was running day-to-day operations at the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office. It was unclear how long that would be the case.