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Posted on Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 2:31 p.m.

Former Michigan House Speaker Craig DeRoche charged with drunken driving in Saline

By Art Aisner

Authorities charged former Michigan House Speaker Craig DeRoche with drunken driving stemming from his arrest in Saline last month.

The 39-year-old Novi resident was charged with one count of first-offense operating a vehicle while intoxicated, said Saline Police Chief Paul Bunten. He was charged by Saline City Attorney Allan Grossman, which is customary in first-time drunken driving cases.


Craig DeRoche

DeRoche was arrested Feb. 9 near downtown Saline after witnesses reported seeing him staggering in the snow at about 5:30 p.m. Police reports indicate he tried to avoid officers responding to the area of the 400 block of North Ann Arbor Street by entering multiple businesses. He was found sitting next to an electrical transformer behind a building.  

Officers noted DeRoche had difficulty standing, slurred speech and could not answer questions, which prevented them from performing standard sobriety tests. He consented to blood tests and registered a blood alcohol content of .249 during a preliminary breathalyzer test, reports said.

Michigan’s legal limit to be considered drunken driving is .08 or above.

Officers found his white Cadillac parked in a driveway nearby with significant tire and side damage. They also witnessed him drop a duffle bag near a Dumpster that contained an empty bottle of vodka, reports said.

DeRoche told police he was at a local bar for a business meeting, but couldn't remember where or how much he had to drink. He said he struck a curb on his way out of town and pulled into the driveway to repair the tire, but couldn’t.

He said he then went looking for help at the nearby businesses.

In an interview with last month, DeRoche said he wouldn't comment on specifics of the report without seeing it. But he said he would take responsibility for the incident, which he called embarrassing.

DeRoche did not comment on the charge when contacted this week. It was unclear whether he hired an attorney, and none was listed on court records.

The warrant, signed by a district court judge Wednesday, indicates the misdemeanor charge could be reduced to a count of driving while visibly impaired upon acceptance of a plea in court, Bunten said.

A hearing date has not been set.

DeRoche served as speaker for two years of his six-year career in the Michigan House of Representatives. He served as Republican minority leader for another two years before he was term limited out of office in 2009. 

DeRoche now owns an insurance services company and said that despite consistent rumors, he is not seeking public office.

Art Aisner is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.


Jeff Renner

Thu, Mar 18, 2010 : 9:49 a.m.

Can you really have "an empty bottle of vodka"? Maybe "an empty vodka bottle" would be better.


Mon, Mar 15, 2010 : 8:18 a.m.

You have no problem reporting this garbage yet no one wants to report anything about the bad judges in our judicial system.....Let's start reporting things that truly impact our society like the immorality of decisions made by Livingston County Judge Carol Hackett-Garagiola. These are the type of elected officals that impact our society and our children.


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 9:33 p.m.

And in other news, the sun is coming up in the east, and winter follows fall. This is why you guys failed as a paper and are on the internet. Following the every move a former office holder who was drunk but isn't running for office who wasn't driving his car at the time but is going to take responsibility? Really... that's what matters? Isn't there anything going on at the schools or city that we would actually care about?


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 7:20 p.m.

The cops can't put him behind the wheel drunk. He was merely drunk in public. He was sober when he hit the curb and drank the bottle of vodka AFTER the mishap to stay warm! This is an easy one to win. Go Craig!!!!


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 5:12 p.m.

Let the gratuitous Republican bashing begin!!!!!


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 4:27 p.m.

I for one am very glad to see information regarding the owner of "an insurance services company" was arrested. I am also very glad that someone with "a blood alcohol content of.249 during a preliminary breathalyzer test" was arrested. This story would be more informative if we knew the name of the company he owns. It could help me to decide where to go for insurance next or to see if the insurance regulatory powers that be will hold him accountable. I would also like to see those who get the dui conviction of a "slap on the wrist" also be sentenced as those in Warren County NJ were throughout the 1990's. They were made to walk beside the recycle truck on recycle day. The county couldn't afford to incarcirate dui's, nor could it afford to provide recycling. It solved both problems. I'll be looking out for LaRoche on Saline roads from now on.

scooter dog

Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 3:57 p.m.

first offense d/d 6 points and a slap on the wrist,plus his car insurance will either cancel or double in cost.I'll bet none of the above happens


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 2:57 p.m.



Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 2:41 p.m.

Why is this NEWS?


Sat, Mar 13, 2010 : 2:37 p.m.

Did they ever make him pick up and sort all the sequins he knocked over at the bead shop?