Dowagiac man gets jail time, probation for drunk driving

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, January 28, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — A Dowagiac man received jail time and probation Friday at Cass County Circuit Court for drunk driving.

Frederick Grady, 60, of Chestnut Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to third offense drunk driving and was sentenced to two years probation, the mandatory 30 days in jail with credit for three days served and $2,188 in fines, costs and restitution. 

The incident occurred April 2, 2021 when he was stopped at South Lowe and Pokagon Streets in Dowagiac. Police stopped him because he had no visible plates on his car and noticed he had slurred speech and a can of beer in the car. A blood test found that his blood alcohol level was .11 which is over the legal limit of .08. 

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz noted that this was Grady’s eighth criminal conviction, with most of them related to substance abuse problems. “The bottom line is that getting alcohol and drugs out of his life is what he has to do,” he said. “… Endangering lives out on the street is not how he wants to spend the rest of his days.” 

“He’s embarrassed about this and he’s ready to take the medicine that comes with this,” defense attorney Greg Feldman said. Grady apologized and said he knew he did wrong. 

“I think you’re a good candidate for probation,” Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said. “It concerns me that you would think it’s okay to drink and get behind the wheel of a car and also drink while you’re driving. I don’t know what prompted you to do it but appreciate that you could get up to five years in prison.” 

“The court will very seriously look at a long upfront jail sentence or prison if you come back again,” the judge added. “Also appreciate that if you drink and drive and someone dies, you’re going to go to prison. If you want to drink, it’s your business but it’s my business if you get behind a wheel and drive.”