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      Estes gets 18 months probation for impaired driving charge

      Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes was sentenced to 18 months probation for the charge of impaired driving stemming from a drunk driving arrest in late October.

      Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes was sentenced to 18 months probation for the charge of impaired driving stemming from a drunk driving arrest in late October.

      According to Honorable Michael S. Stepka, the 18 months is 6 months longer than normal circumstances.

      In court, Estes apologized to the court and the community, but made no other comments.

      "I believe you have accepted full responsibility," said Hon. Judge Stepka.

      Because of an auto crash in Bellaire in 1994 where Estes was originally charged with impaired driving but was dismissed with reckless driving, the judge did not consider this instance a "first offense."

      The judge also noted Estes has passed all breath test and been timely.

      Estes will serve 18 months probation and faces $800 in fines. He will also be subject to outpatient counseling, meetings and breath tests, as well as three days community service in lieu of jail time.

      Estes had no comment about the sentencing when asked after court was adjourned.

      Estes was originally charged with operating while intoxicated after being arrested on October 23. As a part of a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to impaired driving and the OWI charge was dropped.