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Video shows ‘super drunk’ Rep. Rebekah Warren hitting guardrail, failing sobriety tests, police say

Rebekah Warren charged with operating while under influence

Rebekah Warren on the side of I-75 after being pulled over by Auburn Hills police on Dec. 26, 2019.
Rebekah Warren on the side of I-75 after being pulled over by Auburn Hills police on Dec. 26, 2019. (WDIV)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – New dashcam video shows an alleged “super drunk” Michigan state Rep. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) crashing into an I-75 guardrail and failing sobriety tests in Auburn Hills -- even though she said she was driving to Ann Arbor from Detroit, according to authorities.

Auburn Hills police were called at 11:18 p.m. Dec. 26 to the area of northbound I-75 and M-59 for reports of a possible drunken driver, officials said.

Witnesses said there were multiple cars with their hazard lights activated following the black 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

When officers located the Jeep, it was in the middle lane of northbound I-75 near Walton Road. An Auburn Hills officer said he saw the Jeep swerve into the right lane in front of another vehicle and continue north while scraping the right guardrail.

You can see video of Warren swerving on the highway and hitting the guardrail below.

Police said they activated their emergency lights and got behind the Jeep, which was slow to stop but eventually pulled over south of Joslyn Road. Between when the officer activated his lights and when the Jeep pulled over, he saw the driver swerving on the highway and varying speeds between 55 and 70 mph, according to authorities.

Warren trying to get to Ann Arbor from Detroit

Police identified the driver as Warren after checking her driver’s license. She turned off the Jeep and said she had been at an event at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, police said.

Warren told officers she was making her way back home to Ann Arbor, officials said. Police said she told them she was slow to stop on the highway because she hadn’t seen the flashing lights.

An officer asked Warren to rank how drunk she was on a scale of 1-10, and she said, “I think three.”

Warren told police she understood that the Renaissance Center is in Detroit and she was far north of Detroit, in Auburn Hills, officials said. She insisted that she had just had her last glass of wine a minute ago, but denied drinking while actively driving or having a drink in the car, according to authorities.

“So, how many drinks did you have?” the officer asked.

“Three,” Warren said.

“What kind of drinks?” the officer asked.

“Wine,” Warren said.

“So you’re telling me you had about two or three glasses of wine?” the officer asked.

“Two or three glasses of wine, yeah,” Warren said.

“What kind of wine?” the officer asked.

“Red wine,” Warren said.

“Red wine? Do you know the name, by chance?” the officer asked.

“Cabernet, probably,” Warren said.

“Cabernet? OK,” the officer said. “Anything else? Nothing at all?”

“Zero percent,” Warren said.

“OK, so no other drinks? How about how long ago?” the officer asked.

“Like a minute ago,” Warren said.

“Just like a minute ago?” the officer asked. So it’s 11:30 now. When did you have those drinks?"

“Like in the last minute or so,” Warren said.

“Were you drinking while you were driving?” the officer asked.

“No, never,” Warren said.

“OK, so you had them about a minute ago back at the Ren Cen?” the officer asked.

“Yeah,” Warren said.

“OK, do you know what city you’re in?” the officer asked. “What city are you in?”

“I feel like I’m in -- I feel like you’re going to tell me I’m at Josyln Road,” Warren said.

“Let me ask you this -- do you remember hitting the wall?” the officer asked. “Not at all? Are you hurt? So you’re not hurt?”

Warren said she didn’t remember hitting the wall.

“I witnessed you hit the wall,” the officer said. “You were in the middle lane, then you went to the right lane, then you hit the wall. You don’t remember that? OK.”

Sobriety tests

Warren was asked to perform several sobriety tests at the scene, police said.

While an officer was explaining the process to her, she gestured at the other officers at the scene and asked, “Who are all these people?”

“These are my partners,” the officer said.

“Your friends?” Warren asked.

“Yeah, my friends, OK?” the officer said.

As the officer tried to begin the sobriety tests, Warren interrupted.

“All of a sudden, you have like one, two, three, four friends,” Warren said. “I’m just saying, you and I just barely met, and all of a sudden you have four friends.”

“They’re just making sure that I’m OK, and we’re on a very busy roadway, so that’s why,” the officer said.

“But who’s taking videos of this?” Warren said. “Because at some point, everyone wants to take videos of this, but, like, one, two, three, four. You have four friends. I’m all alone.”

The officer explained to her that more officers were needed to block off the freeway to make the shoulder safe.

“All of a sudden, you have five friends and I’m all alone,” Warren said. “I kind of want to call some of my friends.”

She later told the officer, “My whole life has been an official. I’m a minister’s daughter and an elected official. Like, everything in my life has been an official, but OK.”

Eventually, she was asked to stand with her feet together and her arms by her sides while following an officer’s finger with her eyes, officials said. She was told to follow the tip of his fingers with only her eyes and not to move her head, according to police.

Warren had to be told repeatedly not to move her head and to continue following the officer’s finger, he said. She lacked smooth pursuit in both eyes, according to authorities.

Police said Warren was in high heels and told officer she wouldn’t have any issue moving in them. She was asked to perform the walk and turn, but she couldn’t keep her balance or hold the position of her right foot in front of her left foot while touching heel to toe, according to officials.

“You have a lot of friends with you,” Warren said before taking the test. “I am the only lady here. I am the only lady. There are a bunch of guys and I’m all alone.”

“We’re all here to make sure that you’re safe,” the officer said. “Especially the fact that we’re on the side of I-75, OK?”

Warren took off her high heels and tried to perform the test in her socks, but she still struggled and was stumbling to get into a starting position with her right foot in front of her left foot while touching heel to toe, police said.

When an officer demonstrated the test to Warren, she said she understood and started before the instructions were finished, police said. She stopped to steady herself, failed to touch heel to toe, lost her balance, used her arms for balance, incorrectly turned and took the wrong number of steps, according to authorities.

Warren couldn’t perform the one-legged stand, either, police said. An officer said she used her arms to balance herself and put her foot down multiple times.

When asked to recite the alphabet from C to N, Warren did so incorrectly and also went past the letter N, officials said.

When asked to count backwards from 87 to 78, Warren did so incorrectly and also counted past 78, according to police.

The officer asked Warren if she wanted to put her shoes back on, and she said, “I want you to be happy.”

Breath test

Warren repeatedly questioned police when they asked her to take a preliminary breath test, then eventually refused, authorities said.

“I like you, but we’re not friends,” Warren said to the officer.

Video shows her leaning up against the police car to put her shoes back on. They told her if she doesn’t submit to a breath test, she could receive a civil infraction.

“I’m elected, do you understand that part?” Warren asked.

“What are you elected as?” an officer asked.

“I’m elected in Ann Arbor,” Warren said.

“What do you do for the city of Ann Arbor?” the officer asked.

“I’m an elected official,” Warren said.

“You’re an elected official?” the officer asked.

“I am, yeah,” Warren said.

Warren was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, handcuffed and searched. There were no weapons, contraband or expensive items on her person or in the Jeep, police said.

Rebekah Warren
Rebekah Warren (WDIV)

The Jeep was impounded by Jake’s Towing, police said.

Warren was taken to McLaren Hospital, where she refused another test, police said. A search warrant was obtained and authorities drew two tubes of Warren’s blood.

On Jan. 6, a lab report received from Michigan State Police showed Warren’s blood-alcohol content was 0.212 -- or “super drunk” status.

Charges

Officials transported her to the Oakland County Jail, where she was handed over to deputies, according to authorities.

Police said they were seeking charges against Warren for operating while intoxicated -- first offense and refusal to take a blood test. On Jan. 23, the report was forwarded to the Auburn Hills City Attorneys Office for review and charges for operating while intoxicated -- enhanced unlawful bodily alcohol content.

Charges were received for operating while intoxicated -- high BAC, officials said.

Warren was arraigned Thursday at 52nd District Court. She was issued a $500 cash personal bond.

Warren is scheduled to return to court Wednesday.


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