MANISTEE — A 39-year-old Buckley man faced drunken driving and alcohol offenses during his recent arraignment in Manistee County’s 85th District Court.

Christopher Lloyd Matthews faced charges of operating while intoxicated third offense, driving while license suspended, denied or revoked and open intoxicants in a vehicle for his connection with incidents on Sept. 7 in Copemish. If convicted of the drunken driving offense, Matthews faces one to five years in prison and fines of $500 up to $5,000 or probation with 30 days to a year in jail with at least 48 hours to be served consecutively and 60 to 180 days of community service as well as rehabilitation, costs of prosecution, cost of emergency response and mandatory vehicle immobilization.

The charges are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt. Matthews is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Troopers from the Cadillac Michigan State Police Post were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash on M-115 near Cedar Street in Copemish at 10:21 p.m. on Sept. 7. When troopers arrived on the scene, EMS personnel also were on the scene treating the driver who had been ejected from the vehicle.

The driver, later found to be Matthews, was the sole occupant in the vehicle and police said he was refusing medical treatment. He also displayed signs of intoxication and police said he was unable to perform sobriety tests. Police also said he refused to be transported to the hospital by EMS.

Troopers also discovered an open bottle of vodka inside the vehicle, according to police. Matthews was then arrested and lodged in the Manistee County Jail.

The court issued a $10,000 cash or surety bond and he is scheduled to be back in 85th District Court on Sept. 29.

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