Drunk driver who drove wrong way on US 31 sentenced to jail.

August 11, 2020

Timothy Hansen, left, and his attorney John Beason.

Drunk driver who drove wrong way on US 31 sentenced to jail.

#MasonCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 59-year-old Ludington man who drove the wrong way on US 31 last December was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Aug. 11, to serve five months up front of a one-year discretionary term.

Timothy Hansen, of 6717 S. Pere Marquette Hwy., is convicted of third-offense operating while intoxicated.

Hansen was arrested following several 911 calls reporting a vehicle driving northbound on southbound US 31, Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said previously.

“A deputy spotted the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop but the vehicle reportedly refused to stop,” Sheriff Cole said. “The deputy chased the suspect northbound into Amber Township — about two miles — before the vehicle lost control and ran into the median.”

A charge of fleeing and eluding was dismissed.

Hansen’s blood alcohol content was .21, said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. “We’re extremely fortunate there were not multiple fatalities,” said Spaniola. His behavior that night “screams out for a meaningful jail sanction.”

Hansen has prior OWI convictions dating back to 1994 and 1993, said his attorney John Beason.

Beason asked Judge Susan K. Sniegowski for his client to be placed on work release or tether to allow him to keep his job. Judge Sniegowksi said the work release request could be re-addressed this week as Hansen does not have to report to the Mason County Jail until Friday, August. 14, at 8 p.m.

“I’m just glad no one got hurt,” Hansen told the judge.

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 0-9 months, Sniegowski said.

“It is a very curious case to have a 27-year gap between the second offense and the third offense,” she said. “It really highlights the danger of drinking and driving.”

Hansen was also ordered to two years probation and received credit for two days served in jail.

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