Attorney General charges former MSU police capt. for driving drunk


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– On Wednesday Michigan General Dana Nessel announced she was charging Valerie O’Brien, a former captain with the Michigan State University Police Department. 

O’Brien will face the following charges:

  • one count of operating a motor vehicle with a high blood alcohol content (BAC), a 180-day misdemeanor; and 
  • one count of carrying a concealed pistol under the influence with a BAC of 0.10 or more, a 93-day misdemeanor. 

According to Michigan State Police, O’Brien was arrested in February, after failing a field sobriety test and refusing a preliminary breath test (PBT).  Officers say she had pulled onto the shoulder of I-96 and the Michigan State Police inquired if she needed assistance. 

MSP reported a blood test later showed she had a BAC of 0.251, above the high BAC limit of 0.17 set by Michigan law. 

Michigan State University Police issued the follow statement after the charges were announced:

Our law enforcement officers are trusted with the responsibility to serve and protect all members of our community. When there is a breach in that public trust, it must be addressed. 

We are aware of the charges brought against Ms. O’Brien by the Michigan Attorney General. It would be inappropriate for the MSU Police Department to comment on the pending criminal charges being brought by prosecutors. We have full confidence in the prosecutors to handle the criminal case in a fair and impartial manner.

Like any police department, the MSU Police Department we have policies and procedures in place that guide the expectations of all of our employees, both on-duty and off-duty, and any time there is an alleged violation of those policies we will conduct a detailed and thorough investigation. 

Ms. O’Brien was placed on leave with no assigned work duties immediately following her arrest by the Michigan State Police. While on unpaid leave, O’Brien resigned from the MSU Police Department and is no longer an employee of the department or the university.

An arraignment is set for June 7 at 8:30 a.m. in Ingham County 55th District Court.

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