Bryce Dennings, 42, was sentenced Tuesday in Ottawa County District Court.
Dennings was arrested in the early morning of Jan. 15 on Interstate 96 in Crockery Township after his car slid off the road, said Lt. Steve Kempker of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. Dennings was not on duty and was not responding to a call at that time, Township Manager Bill Cargo said.
Dennings, a full-time lieutenant for the Grand Haven Township Fire-Rescue Department, was placed on restricted duties — meaning he would not be responding to incidents — after his arrest.
The firefighter resigned from the department on April 20, and pleaded guilty on May 8 to a reduced charge of operating while impaired.
Dennings told Judge Richard Kloote that he had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous, but had not completed the program because he did not think it was a good fit for him.
Dennings also noted he had started a temporary job.
The judge ordered Dennings to pay fines and costs of $785, or serve 70 days in jail. He also ordered him to participate in counseling and provide proof of completion.
Kloote said six months of driving restrictions would be imposed separately by the Secretary of State's Office.
Kloote said he would not put Dennings on probation, but warned him: “If you get in trouble in the next seven years, it’s mandatory jail.”
Fire Chief Tom Gerencer said Dennings was in charge of his shift when on duty, and was also in charge of the township's arson investigations.
“He was a valued employee and he’s going to be missed,” Gerencer said.