Jury convicts drunk driver who had a .26 BAC

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- A jury convicted a man who was driving with a .26 BAC at the time of his arrest in February 2020, according to Cass county Prosecutor Victor Fitz.

Gary Lee Keen was found guilty of operating while intoxicated and operating with an invalid license.

The jury returned the guilty verdict on Wednesday.

An employee of the Family Fare grocery store testified she was assisting a customer to his vehicle on February 10, 2020, when she saw Keen drinking while in the driver's seat.

She called 911 as the vehicle left the parking lot.

A Dowagiac officer stopped Keen before he could get onto the roadway. The officer testified she smelled alcohol on Keen and that he was slurring his words.

A second officer responded to the scene and noticed Keen was intoxicated.

Keen also allegedly made statements admitting he was driving and he was drunk - and knew he was committing a crime, the prosecutor's office said.

Keen refused to submit to field sobriety tests, so his blood was drawn. Tests showed his BAC was .261.

Additional evidence presented at trial included body camera footage showing Keen's statements and behavior at the traffic stop.

“While every defendant has a right to their day in court, with a .261, this case going to trial was a head-scratcher. The defendant did himself no favors by presenting to the judge in great detail his blatant disregard for the law and the safety of law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately, his decision making is questionable both when drunk and sober," Fitz said.

Keen is scheduled for sentencing on December 3rd. He faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

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