Drunken man in parking lot apprehended for third OWI offense

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published August 20, 2014

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A Macomb Township resident was arrested by officers from the Fraser Department of Public Safety after a passerby spotted him passed out in the driver’s seat of his vehicle in an undisclosed parking lot.

The arrest occurred Aug. 1 around 7:30 p.m. in the 32000 block of Groesbeck Highway, near 14 Mile Road. Officers arrived and found Richard Banker, 64, in the vehicle while stenches of alcohol emanated from the vehicle. Banker allegedly told officers he drank a beer prior to operating his vehicle, and officers determined that he didn’t know where he was.

A roadside blood alcohol test was administered to Banker, who blew .21 — nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08. Officers also found an open beer and marijuana in the car.

Banker was eventually arrested for his third OWI, as well as possession of marijuana. He was driving with a suspended license.

Fraser Lt. Dan Kolke said Banker was not taken to the hospital for his blood alcohol level because the minimum level that requires a hospital visit is .30.

Kolke added that Banker was “very cooperative” and did not fight the blood alcohol test.

The previous two times Banker had been arrested for OWI included a 2005 conviction that stemmed from driving while visibly impaired in Fraser. And in 2006 Banker was arrested after being intoxicated and driving his motorcycle into a crowd of people in Eastpointe, injuring several individuals. After the motorcycle incident, he pleaded no contest to four counts of OWI causing serious injury, along with failing to stop at the scene of an injury accident.

Banker was arraigned Aug. 4 in 39th District Court in Fraser. His pretrial is scheduled for Aug. 27 at 39th District Court in Roseville.