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Former MSU Police Capt. Charged Following Drunk Driving Arrest

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced charges against Valerie O'Brien, a former captain with the Michigan State University Police Department. 

O'Brien is charged with: 

  • 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. 

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

In February, O'Brien was arrested after failing a field sobriety test and refusing a preliminary breath test (PBT).  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. 

O'Brien's police-issued pistol was in the back seat of her car at the time of arrest. 

Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Seimon petitioned for a Special Prosecuting Attorney after the arrest and the Michigan Department of Attorney General retained prosecution of this case. 

"My office stands ready to ensure law enforcement officers are upholding the oath they took to protect and serve," Nessel said. 

Questions related to O'Brien's employment status with MSU PD should be directed to the police department. 

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Attorney General's office does not provide photos of defendants.