Eastpointe woman accused of assault, driving ‘super drunk’

Suspect with reportedly .32 BAC allegedly strikes woman at church

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published June 19, 2013

HAZEL PARK — A woman stands accused of driving to a local church with a blood alcohol content four times the legal limit — what the law considers “super drunk” — before allegedly attacking a volunteer at the church.

Shelley Kellner, 50, of Eastpointe, was arraigned by Magistrate James Paterson in Hazel Park 43rd District Court May 29. At press time, her pretrial hearing was June 13.

She was charged with operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .17 percent or more, which carries a penalty of up to $700 in fines, up to 180 days in jail, up to 360 hours of community service, mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program, the suspension of the suspect’s  license for up to one year, six points added to the suspect’s  license, and the possibility of ignition interlock use and compliance after 45 days of license suspension, after which the suspect would be able to receive a restricted license.

Kellner was also charged with assault and battery, a 93-day misdemeanor. She was freed on payment of a $2,000 cash bond.

The incident occurred May 28 at Landmark Community Church, 24520 N. Chrysler Drive. It appears Kelllner drove to the church in a 1995 Pontiac van, searching for a man she thought either worshipped or worked there.

Police say motivation was unclear, but it appears she was upset over something to do with a vehicle — perhaps seeking payment for something owed.

She allegedly entered the lobby of the church just after 1 p.m., asking a woman who volunteers there about the man she sought.

The woman reportedly told her there was nobody there by that name and asked Kellner to leave several times. Police said this angered the suspect, who allegedly proceeded to strike the woman in the face, knocking her down.

“We received a call about a fight at the church,” said Hazel Park Police Lt. Brian Buchholz. “Upon arrival at the church, we located Miss Kellner in the parking lot. Apparently, some people were holding her down until police arrived.”

The suspect allegedly reeked of alcohol and had slurred speech and eyes bloodshot. When police saw she had been driving, they submitted her to sobriety tests, including a preliminary breath test. Her blood alcohol content was reportedly 0.32 — four times the legal limit of 0.8, and well past the threshold that qualifies one as “super drunk.”

“It’s a new law where anyone with a blood alcohol content of 0.17 or higher can be hit with stiffer penalties,” Buchholz said. “Most people would need to be in the hospital at that point. She definitely has a very high tolerance for alcohol, a long history of abuse, to even be awake with that amount of alcohol in her system.”