‘Super’ drunken driver destroyes putting green, gets probation

Published 3:58 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — A blood alcohol level of 0.228, plus fleeing police at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, equaled a three-year probation sentence for a Cass County resident.

On June 25, 2011, Jessie Holdread, 33, of Union, led police on a high-speed chase on Union Road before losing control of the vehicle and careening off a tree while carrying one passenger. The vehicle tore into a private yard where it destroyed a putting green and a soccer goal, before coming to rest inches from a home where the occupants were sleeping.

“Not only did you risk serious injury or death to you and your buddy, but also to the people who were innocently sleeping in that house,” Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge said during sentencing Friday.

Holdread, who has no prior convictions, told the court he has been leading a good life except for this one bad mistake. He said he is a senior welder at a company where he has worked since 2003. He also recently helped raise $10,000 for the local Boys and Girls Club of Elkhart.

“I am deeply embarrassed,” said Holdread, while promising to make up for his mistake.

Dodge followed the plea deal, sentencing Holdread to three years of probation and 180 days in jail for violating the “super drunk” law, which involves operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.17 or higher. Dodge ordered Holdread to complete a substance abuse treatment course, while allowing him work release. Dodge said Holdread’s sentence could be suspended after serving the first 90 days, with credit for one served.

“You are a good guy who does good things, except when you make the decision to drink,” Dodge said. “At 0.22 that’s an indication you have some serious drinking problems and it’s an issue you need to deal with.”