BAY CITY, MI — Already on probation on an impaired-driving conviction, a Bay City attorney and son of a Michigan judge is newly charged with drunken driving and drug offenses.
Michael A. Knoblock, 31, on Monday, May 16, appeared before Bay County District Judge Timothy J. Kelly via closed-circuit television from the Bay County Jail. Kelly arraigned Knoblock on single counts of operating while intoxicated, second offense, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance-analogues, and driving without insurance. All of the charges are misdemeanors except the controlled substance count, which is a two-year felony.
About 3:05 p.m. Sunday, May 15, Bay County Central Dispatch advised police to be on the lookout for a 2005 black Volkswagen Passat heading south on Jones Road from Borton Road in Hampton Township. The car was reportedly driving all over the road, as reported by the motorist who was driving behind it and called 911, court records show.
A Hampton Township police officer spotted the VW and pulled it over. When Knoblock, the only occupant, stepped from the vehicle at the officer’s request, he dropped a pack of cigarettes. The officer found suspected marijuana and 23 pills in the pack, which Knoblock identified as Xanax, court records show.
Knoblock said he doesn’t use marijuana, but took two of the Xanax pills an hour or two earlier. He also said he drank two 12-ounce beers, court records show.
Knoblock submitted to a personal Breathalyzer test, which indicated his blood alcohol content was 0.039 percent. Although that’s below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, a person can be charged with operating while intoxicated if any amount of alcohol in one’s system affects the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle.
The officer arrested Knoblock and took him to McLaren Bay Region hospital for a blood sample, to which Knoblock consented.
At his arraignment, Knoblock said he lives in Ubly, located in Huron County, though he practices law in Bay City.
Bay City attorney Jeffrey Martin appeared before Judge Kelly on Knoblock’s behalf, asking the judge to release him on a personal recognizance bond.
“Given his profession, he understands the necessity of appearing in court as well as the conditions of bond,” Martin said, adding Knoblock would meet all demands imposed on him by the court.
Kelly set bond at $10,000 cash-surety. If Knoblock posts it, he is to submit to regular alcohol tests and is not to drive.
In June 2014, Knoblock was arrested in Ubly on charges of operating while intoxicated, speeding and child endangerment. Reports indicated Knoblock’s blood alcohol level was at 0.21 percent at the time of his arrest. In Michigan, a person is considered “super drunk” if their blood alcohol level reaches 0.17 percent.
Knoblock had this 3-year-old daughter and two other children, both 9 years old, in the vehicle with him at the time of his 2014 arrest, according to The Huron Daily Tribune.
Knoblock’s father is M. Richard Knoblock, who was a Huron County Circuit Court judge at the time of his 2014 arrest. As a result, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office assigned Knoblock’s case to the Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office, which tried the matter in Bay County.
Knoblock was never charged on child-endangerment offenses, with prosecutors claiming they did not receive a warrant request for such charges from police, according to The Huron Daily Tribune. Police countered they did indeed send the request for child-endangerment charges.
In September 2014, Knoblock pleaded guilty to impaired driving and Judge Kelly sentenced him to probation.
Knoblock also owes $416 for unpaid parking tickets in downtown Bay City, court records show.
Knoblock is to appear for a preliminary examination at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2.