SAULT STE. MARIE - The Michigan State Police post commander in Gladstone was arrested for drunken driving in Chippewa County over the weekend, according to county officials there.
Lt. William H. Smith, 43, was booked into the Chippewa County Jail at 4:51 a.m. Saturday, confirmed Undersheriff Mike Bitnar this morning. Smith was booked under an "OWI" charge which is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, said Bitnar.
Smith was released from jail later that same day on a personal recognizance bond, Bitnar said.
When the Daily Press contacted the investigating police agency to seek details on the vehicle accident which resulted in Smith's arrest, Sault Ste Marie Police officials referred all questions to the prosecutor's office.
Chippewa County Prosecutor Brian Peppler confirmed Smith was arrested for OWI following an accident in a personal vehicle. Peppler said he was not aware of any injuries resulting from the accident. No other people were involved in the accident, he added.
Peppler said the case remains under investigation and no charges have been authorized yet. A blood sample taken at Smith's request will be analyzed prior to the prosecutor's office considering authorization of charges. The blood testing process could take three to four weeks, Peppler said.
Peppler added he will be requesting the Michigan Attorney General to appoint a different prosecutor from the county to handle the case because he worked with Smith while the trooper was a detective with the Sault Ste. Marie Post.
Smith was recently promoted to head the post in Gladstone. The Daily Press attempted to contact Smith by telephone this morning but he did not return the call by press time.