Niles man jailed for sixth DUI
Despite having five prior convictions for drunken driving, 50-year-old William Griscott had a half empty pint of Crown Royal with him when he was pulled over by police Dec. 17 in Niles Township.
A blood test revealed the Niles man had a blood alcohol level of .15 — nearly twice the legal limit of .08.
“At some point I would hope that you turn things around, but so far you’ve been unable to accomplish that,” said Judge Dennis Wiley before sentencing Griscott to five years probation on one count of felony operating while intoxicated as a third offense Monday in Berrien County Trial Court in Niles.
Griscott must also serve 210 days in jail, including the final 90 at the Kalamazoo Parole Enhancement Program. He is also required to perform 480 hours of community service.
According to court documents, Griscott was driving on South 11th Street near U.S. 12 when a Berrien County Sheriff’s Department deputy initiated a traffic stop because of a broken tail light on Griscott’s vehicle. Griscott was also driving on a suspended license.
Griscott told the judge he had about three or four beers prior to getting behind the wheel.
In exchange for Griscott’s guilty plea, the prosecutor’s office dropped additional charges of open container and driving with a suspended license.
Complicating matters for Griscott is the fact that he was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree in 1991, according to Wiley.
The new felony conviction forces Griscott to have to register as a sex offender.
Also Monday, Craig Schuler, 35, of Stevensville, was sentenced to five years probation and a year in jail on one count of assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct in the third degree in the third degree. He is also required to register as a sex offender, have no contact with children and no contact with the victims or the victims’ families.
According to court documents, Schuler inappropriately touched two girls, ages 11 and 12, multiple times in August of 2014. Schuler was a friend of the victims’ families.
One of the victim’s parents told the court her daughter still has fear that it might happen again.
“It leaves a scar that won’t go away,” she said. “He needs to understand the devastation he put on all of us.”
• Thomas Michienzi, 55, of Niles, was sentenced to 15 months on probation and 45 days in jail on one count of attempted larceny in a building. According to court documents, Michienzi took $600 from the wallet of a person who was helping him register for something online.