On Tuesday, September 25th, state Representative Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck, was convicted on charges of drunk driving for an incident that took place in January of this year. On January 19th, Genetski was arrested after failing a field sobriety test by a Michigan State University police officer. News reports state that Genetski’s blood-alcohol level was 0.08% 90 minutes after he was arrested.
Genetski was charged with misdemeanor drunk driving. Typical penalties for this charge are a $500 fine, jail time of as much as 93 days, and up to 360 hours of community service. In most cases, those convicted on a first-time offense do not spend time in jail. In Genetski’s case, his driver’s license was suspended in March by the Secretary of State because Genetski allegedly refused a Breathalyzer test. However, Genetski was granted driving privileges for court and work purposes by Ingham Circuit Judge William Collette.
According to newspaper reports, Genetski sat without expression as jurors were polled by the judge following deliberation. All six jurors replied “guilty” to charges of operating while intoxicated.
Mike Nichols, Genetski’s attorney, told reporters that he expects the sentencing hearing to take place sometime in the next 30 to 45 days. Genetski will face election in just a few weeks; it is anyone’s guess what the impact of his conviction will be to his career.
While it’s true no one wants to spend time in jail after being convicted on drunk driving charges, having a driver’s license suspended, even though it may seem minor, can be truly devastating to your everyday life. While you may be allowed to drive on a limited basis (to work, school, etc.), you don’t realize how essential to your life having the right to drive anywhere you like is, until you lose it. Many people have their licenses suspended or revoked every day, often related to traffic offenses such as DUI, speeding, reckless driving, etc.