Tuesday, November 28, 2000

County official accused of DUI

Arrest is second in '00 for Indiana commissioner; faces losing license

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        RISING SUN — An Ohio County official, accused of his second drunken-driving offense this year, faces an automatic suspension of his driver's license and other penalties.

        Michael D. Hayes, an Ohio County commissioner, was being held in the Dearborn County Jail on Monday after being arrested Sunday night in Ohio County, which lacks its own jail.

        His bond was set at $2,000; it had not been posted as of late afternoon Monday, officials said. Mr. Hayes is scheduled for an April 18 jury trial on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, refusing to take a breath-analysis test and driving left-of-center.

        Around 11:45 p.m. Sunday, a Rising Sun police officer stopped Mr. Hayes, 43, who was westbound in a black Ford pickup truck, after the vehicle crossed the center line and went off the roadway on Ind. 56, police said. Rising Sun Police Chief Frank McIntosh said he could disclose no further details.

        It was unclear Monday if the situation would affect Mr. Hayes' status as a county commissioner. Officials noted that voters in this month's election chose Mr. Hayes to continue serving on the commission in 2001.

        Neither Mr. Hayes nor his attorney, John F. Stroup, could be reached for comment.

        Because of a previous drunken-driving conviction, Mr. Hayes could receive harsher penalties if he is found guilty of the charges stemming from Sunday's incident.

        Also, refusing to take a breath-analysis test results in an automatic one-year driver's license suspension under state law, said Michelle Reddick, spokeswoman for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

        On Aug. 17, Mr. Hayes pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Ohio County Superior Court records say.

        A yearlong jail sentence was suspended on condition that he complete a year's probation; he was fined $100 plus $325.50 in costs, and he was granted a probationary driver's license.


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