Former drug counselor sent to jail for drugged driving.
By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.
LUDINGTON – A 59-year-old former substance abuse counselor was sentenced to serve nine months up front of a one-year discretionary jail term for a conviction of third-offense operating while intoxicated in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Loren Micheal Cooper, of 2962 N. Morse Rd., Sheridan Township, was arrested by the Michigan State Police on US 10 near Nelson Road.
It is his sixth conviction of “some sort of operating while intoxicated,” said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. “This matter involved other substances.”
“Mr. Cooper presents a mixed situation,” said Spaniola. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and served as executive director for Choices of Manistee, he said.
Cooper’s attorney David Glancy asked if his client could receive house arrest or be released every 28 days with two days on house arrest due to Cooper receiving Social Security disability benefits. SSD recipients lose their benefits if they’re incarcerated for more than 30 days, he said.
“My disability helps support my child – I have one minor child,” Cooper said. “Xanax has been an issue. It’s been a real eye-opener for me. I will be 60 years old soon, and I don’t need to be here.”
Sentencing guidelines in the case are seven to 23 months.
“I find this whole case extremely disappointing,” said Judge Susan K. Sniegowski, citing Cooper’s “years of work as a substance abuse counselor.”
“It’s really unfortunate that you’re going to lose your Social Security disability,” said the judge, who did not allow releasing Cooper on house arrest.
Cooper was sentenced to two years of probation and received credit for 93 days served in jail.
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