DETROIT – Former southeast Michigan judge, David Parrott, is fighting to the bitter end to remake Michigan drunk driving law.
A Manistee County sheriff’s deputy arrested Parrott over the holidays in 2018 on drunk driving charges. To this day the case remains unresolved.
This may be the most hotly contested misdemeanor drunk driving case in the state’s history.
The prosecution stalled while Parrott appeals his legal theory. One that could require changing the drunk driving evidence rules.
A three person appeals panel gave that a thumbs down on Friday. Christmas night 2018, former judge Parrott’s car mired in a snowy ditch after missing a turn.
A tow truck driver called the sheriff’s office believing Parrott was drunk. The officer’s body camera showed the breathalyzer at the heart of his appeal.
“Ok sir, you’re a .10. so, you’ve had something to drink,” said an officer featured in the video.
Parrott was heard responding, “It must have been in the Christmas punch, I didn’t realize that.”
The appeal paperwork shows the then judge flashed his officer of the court badge trying to avoid arrest and a blood test.
The blood test taken an hour or so later showed a .15 blood alcohol level.
Parrott’s appeal theory attempts to have the breathalyzer results included in his prosecution because he has an expert who will say his blood alcohol level was rising throughout the night, but was below .08 when he put his car in the ditch.
But the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Friday there are specific times when a breathalyzer is admissible and this case didn’t meet the standard giving the thumbs down to Parrott’s appeal.
The court pointed out breathalyzers aren’t included and sometimes not particularly reliable.
So what’s next?
Judge Parrott’s attorney Mike Nichols of Lansing told Local 4 News they are now going to take this case to the Michigan Supreme Court.
That means the prosecution of his drunk driving case will remain on hold.
He was last in Manistee County on this case just about a year ago.