A Michigan sheriff asked not to be arrested on drunk driving charges: 'Jesus Christ, I'm a sheriff'

  • On November 16, Michigan sheriff Scott Stephenson was arrested on suspicions of drunk driving after leaving a deer hunting camp.
  • He can be heard saying in footage WJRT obtained that he couldn’t be arrested, adding, “Jesus Christ, I’m a sheriff.”
  • Stephenson was found asleep behind the wheel of his car, which was parked on the side of a highway.
  • A breathalyzer test reportedly showed that Stephenson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was nearly three times the legal limit in Michigan.
  • He has since pleaded guilty in the case.

On November 16, Michigan sheriff Scott Stephenson was arrested on suspicions of drunk driving after going deer hunting.

But when Kalkaska County deputy sheriff Ashley VanSloten approached him, Stephenson asked not to be arrested on DWI charges, according to footage of the incident obtained by local ABC affiliate WJRT.

Last month, VanSloten responded to a call when a passerby saw Stephenson was found asleep behind the wheel of his county-owned car, which was parked on the side of a highway, per WJRT.

“Sir, you need to wake up and talk to me,” VanSloten said, as she knocked on the window of the car. “My dispatcher called. Someone thought you were dead over here.”


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Eventually, Stephenson woke up, at which point, he told VanSloten he had been drinking earlier in the day. According to the Associated Press, Stephenson says he left the hunting ground to get cell service, but he could feel the alcohol “take an effect while driving,” so he pulled over.

An EMS crew and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon arrived on the scene.

At that point, Stephenson could be heard in the bodycam footage WJRT obtained saying he could not be taken to jail.

“Jesus Christ, I’m a sheriff,” he said “I’m a constitutional [expletive] officer. You can’t take me to [expletive] jail. I’m a god damn sheriff.”

In the recording, Cannon, a friend of Stephenson’s according to WJRT, offered VanSloten his help.

“I could take responsibility for him,” Cannon told VanSloten. “I know you have to do what you have to do.”

VanSloten then led the field sobriety tests – including administering a breathalyzer. Stephenson reportedly registered a 0.23% BAC, which is three times greater than Michigan’s legal driving limit of 0.08%.

After that, Stephenson was arrested.

“I made a poor choice,” he said, per WJRT. “I drank too much today.”

On Thursday, Stephenson pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, the AP reported. He was placed on probation for one year and charged a fine.

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