Vavricek Charged with Misdemeanor - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Vavricek Charged with Misdemeanor

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Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek faces a misdemeanor charge, but will not stand trial for DUI after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving earlier this month.

Howard County Attorney David Schroeder made the decision. Online court records show the charge was filed on Monday.

Court records show Vavricek was initially given a citation for first offense DUI and failure to use a seat belt. However, Schroeder opted for the reckless driving charge.

It's not clear why Schroeder chose that charge. He did not return a call from NTV.

Those we spoke to in law enforcement say it's not unusual to see a case pled down in a first offense.

It's possible Vavricek's blood alcohol level was under the legal limit. However, the county attorney has declined to release that.

Vavricek was stopped between St. Libory and St. Paul on the evening of March 2, following a citizen call to 911, according to the Nebraska State Patrol. He was alone in his 2008 Lincoln MKX at the time of the traffic stop.

The Grand Island Independent requested the audio recording made by the Grand Island 911 center. Grand Island City Attorney Bob Sivick denied the newspaper's request.

NTV made a records request as well, and Sivick provided a letter outlining his objection to the release of the 911 call.

The call was made at 5:22 p.m. on March 2 and was followed by a call at 5:37 from the 911 center to an official with the Nebraska State Patrol.

Reckless driving is a Class III Misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail, $500 fine, or both with no minimum.

Vavricek is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday morning.
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