Michigan Rep. Mary Cavanagh gets probation, must pay fines for drunk driving charge

State lawmaker pleaded guilty to OWI charge in April

Michigan state Rep. Mary Cavanagh on Friday was sentenced to probation and assigned fines after pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge out of Livonia.

LIVONIA, Mich. – Michigan state Rep. Mary Cavanagh on Friday was sentenced to probation and assigned fines after pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge out of Livonia.

The Redford Township representative pleaded guilty in April to an operating while intoxicated (OWI) first offense charge in connection with an arrest on the night of Feb. 25 in the Livonia area.

Cavanagh appeared in court in Livonia on Friday, May 6, for her sentencing. The lawmaker did not receive any jail time, and got the recommended sentence of a $500 fine, a 10-day work program, 2 years of probation, she must appear for sobriety court, and other fines.

During her sentencing, Cavanagh -- a 30-year-old Democrat -- addressed the judge and apologized for her actions.

“I just wanted to apologize to the court, to the community and also to myself for my decisions,” Cavanagh said Friday. “But I am looking forward to using this to become a better person, and I am seeing that there is another life, and it’s (a) sober life, and I am very much looking forward to that, given the opportunity to be granted into sobriety court.”

The operating while intoxicated charge is Cavanagh’s second offense, officials said. Last month, the representative apologized to the community for her actions and said that she suffers from addiction. See the entire April statement below.

Cavanagh’s lawyer told Local 4 Friday that the lawmaker does not plan on resigning from her position in the Michigan House of Representatives.

On April 25, Livonia police said that Cavanagh was swerving on I-96 with two flat tires on the driver’s side of the vehicle. An officer followed the rep. from Merriman Road to Schoolcraft Road, then to the freeway, where she reportedly began swerving between the right and center lanes.

Authorities shared police body camera footage last month, showing Cavanagh getting stopped by police, taking sobriety tests and ultimately getting arrested.

See more: Body cam footage shows Michigan Rep. Mary Cavanagh’s drunk driving arrest

During the traffic stop, the representative took a breathalyzer test and reportedly blew a 0.17 -- the legal limit is 0.08. Then, later, a blood test revealed that Cavanagh’s blood alcohol level was 0.20, officials said.

Cavanagh pleaded guilty to the charge in the 16th District Court on April 13. She is the third Michigan state lawmaker to face a drunk driving charge in the span of a year.

Following the charge, the state lawmaker shared the following message to her Instagram account, apologizing for the incident.

“Dear Neighbor,

“I am writing you to ask for forgiveness, give a little clarity as to what is happening, and assurances that I will continue to serve you with the highest of integrity. All of this comes with a deep apology for my arrest and creating a distraction to my community and my colleagues, as we continue the hard and tireless work of service to the people.

“As I work with my attorneys to bring closure to the legal and court aspects of this matter, know that within time, I will address and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how I got here and where I intend to go with all of this. Clearly, there is so much to say about this incident, but that will come at a later time. I ask for your patience through these court proceedings.

“What I can offer you is the very real truth that addiction is a hard road to travel. It is a road that may get easier with education, counseling and treatment, all of those which I am fully engaged, but it is a road that requires discipline and determination and, most of all, my faith.

“I am here to serve you. I will never forget that. In my service to you, I am accountable to you. I assure you, if you grant me a little grace, I will use all the energy and fiber of my being to regain your trust and show you that I am fit to serve the community and the people that have shown me love and those whose hearts I want to capture. Bowed, but not broken.

“Your servant, your state rep. Mary.”

Mary Cavanagh on Instagram

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.