‘Super drunk’ sheriff tries to beg his way out of being arrested

‘Super drunk’ sheriff tries to beg his way out of being arrested

This salty sheriff was super sloshed.

Bodycam footage from a deputy in Michigan shows a “super drunk” Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson trying to talk his way out of a drunk driving arrest last month in Kalkaska — where he was found slumped over the wheel in a car parked on the side of a highway, MLive.com reports.

“Jesus Christ, I’m f–king praying,” video from the Nov. 16 arrest shows Stephenson begging the responding deputy and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Nelson “Jerry” Cannon. “I, I, I, I know the situation I’m putting you in … Jerry, Jesus Christ, give me a f–king, try to f–king help me out, man. I can’t go to f–king jail for f–king drunk driving. Are you f–king kidding? Seriously.”

A deputy then holds up the results of a preliminary breath test, which shows Stephenson’s blood-alcohol content at 0.233, or nearly three times the state’s legal limit to drive and above the state’s threshold to be declared “super drunk,” which is punishable in Michigan by up to 180 days in jail, according to the website.

At another point on the footage, which was obtained by the website via an open-records request, Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Vansloten opens the door of Stephenson’s black Ford Fusion and finds the drunken driver mumbling incoherently.

“Sir, you need to wake up and talk to me,” Vansloten says. “I don’t understand. What are you doing? You’re on the side of the road slumped over.”

Stephenson appears to begin realizing his predicament, mumbling, “Oh jeez” and “Holy s–t” as Vansloten continues her questioning.

“What do you got me lighted up for?” Stephenson asks.

The deputy then explains that witnesses spotted Stephenson slumped over in his car, prompting the sheriff to admit that he had been drinking, though he claims to not have been driving.

“Right,” an amused Vansloten replies. “How did you get here is the question?”

Stephenson, who acknowledges that he was in a “bad dealio,” tells the deputy he had been coming from nearby Midland, where he says he was deer hunting earlier.

“You know who I am or not?” Stephenson then asks Vansloten.

“I don’t know who you are,” the deputy replies.

Stephenson then stammers incoherently as the deputy orders him out of the car, which the sheriff balks at as he spots an ambulance arriving on the scene, seemingly angering him.

“I’m f–king good,” Stephenson says before pulling out a commemorative badge. “Listen, Vansloten, hey, listen … I’m the f–king Midland County sheriff. I’m f–king good. I had a bad day. I don’t need EMS. I don’t need you.”

Stephenson then says he was “frickin’ embarrassed like you couldn’t frickin’ believe” once he was pulled out of his Ford Fusion. He claims to have had only four beers within the past four hours before the footage shows him performing poorly in a series of field sobriety tests — nearly tripping over his own feet at one point while turning around.

Stephenson then asks Cannon to “take him to camp,” an apparent reference to where he had been hunting deer. He then blows into a Breathalyzer, video shows.

“Jesus,” Cannon is overheard saying.

“Oh s–t, Jerry, well, you know what?” Stephenson mumbles.

Stephenson later apologized to the public in a statement, saying he was “embarrassed [and] ashamed” by the conduct seen on the footage. He claimed to have downed beers at a deer camp in Kalkaska County hours earlier and to have driven away to find an area with better cellphone reception.

He later pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired, while prosecutors dropped a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was also not charged under the state’s super drunk statute because the results of a roadside Breathalyzer test were not admissible in court, Kalkaska County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Ziegler told MLive.com.

Stephenson’s attorney contacted authorities as they awaited additional analysis of the sheriff’s blood sample and told him of his intention to plead guilty to an impaired driving charge, Ziegler said.

“We found that was an appropriate resolution,” Ziegler told the website.

Stephenson — who was also fined $1,030 and received one year of probation — did not respond to a message seeking comment about the footage on Friday.

“I paid the standard fines and costs, and I have been sentenced, as anyone else would be,” Stephenson has said in a statement released after his guilty plea. “My poor choice has made a difficult time for my family and loved ones, and I truly appreciate the support they gave, and continue to give me.”

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