Man Pleads Guilty to Felony DUI in Laramie
A man accused of driving drunk in Laramie pleaded guilty Tuesday to one of three charges initially brought against him, marking his fourth DUI conviction since 2009.
Michael McDonald, 28, could face up to seven years in prison and a $7,000 fine at sentencing. A hearing date in Albany County District Court will be set pending completion of the presentence investigation report.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutor Kurt Britzius moved for the court to dismiss two misdemeanor counts also brought against McDonald: driving while his license was suspended and driving without an interlock device -- a requirement stemming from McDonald's previous DUI arrest.
Britzius also said the state would recommend McDonald serve time in the county detention center followed by supervised probation.
McDonald was arrested March 25 after a Laramie police officer was dispatched to the intersection of 5th and Park to check out a report of an unconscious man slumped over in a sliver Ford Taurus.
The car was gone when the officer arrived, but he found it down the street and stopped it in the 1600 block of Park.
Britzius told the court Tuesday that the officer approached the driver, McDonald, and "immediately noted that his eyes were glassy and he smelled like alcohol."
Court documents say McDonald's blood alcohol content was .28 -- which Judge Jeffrey Donnell noted Tuesday was over three times the legal limit.
"Did you feel like you were drunk?" Donnell asked McDonald.
"Not particularly, sir," McDonald replied. He went on to acknowledge that he has a drinking problem, but said he has been working to get it under control while out on bond by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, seeking counseling and staying clean and sober.
Donnell told McDonald he was very lucky that he didn't kill someone, including himself, while driving drunk.
"If somebody was dead, you'd be going away for a long time," Donnell said.
McDonald remains free on $10,000 signature bond pending sentencing.