William Sheets – Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office

“Three sheets to the wind” meansĀ an intoxicated person who is a danger.

So let’s call William Sheets of the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office “One Sheet to the Wind.”

Sheets pleaded guilty to impaired driving. The Michigan State Police caught him driving south of Charlevoix. He admits that his ability to drive was impaired by the use of alcohol.

The original charge was driving with a high alcohol content. A plea of impaired driving is on the generous side for a high bodily alcohol content case, though that may be the norm in the Charlevoix area.

High bodily alcohol content is inconsistent with just a couple of beers. It takes some dedicated drinking to get to that point. The question I would have wanted Sheets to answer is why he thought driving with a high bodily alcohol content in the location he polices was a good idea. I would also want him to answer why he thought he thought he could get away with it and why his actions don’t undermine our faith in the police.

The court sentenced Sheets to six months of probation and a steep fine. Six months is a light probation compared to the two years that some courts give, but that’s likely a standard sentence for the area. Some courts believe that if a person is going to screw up on probation, they’ll do it in the first six months, so there’s no sense in keeping them after that. Other courts believe that public safety dictates a two-year probation for every drunk driving. It’s also what’s in the probation that matters. Non-reporting probation leaves a lot of room for cheating. On the other hand, twice-daily testing for an extended period of time is more likely to be a welcome cash cow for the testing companies than it is to be a reasonable and effective public safeguard.

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