Former Spring Lake teacher gets jail for drunk driving

Becky Vargo • Mar 26, 2019 at 9:00 AM

A former Spring Lake High School teacher has been ordered to serve 30 days in jail for a third-offense drunken driving conviction.

Robert Leroy Rebone Jr., 46, was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court. He resigned from his teaching position in early November 2018, after being charged with the Sept. 21, 2018, incident in Grand Haven.

First and second drunk-driving offenses are considered misdemeanors in Michigan. A third offense elevates the case to a felony with a potential for up to five years in prison. 

Rebone’s other drunken driving conviction in Ottawa County occurred in 2014.

Defense attorney Phil Sielski, from the Ottawa County Public Defenders Office, said his client has attended more than 100 Alcoholic Anonymous meetings since the incident last fall.

“He’s trying very hard to address this,” Sielski said. “He suffered the loss of a job that he loved.”

Rebone said that he is taking his sobriety seriously this time, and that he’s working very hard on it.

“This will not happen again,” he told Judge Jon Hulsing. “I’ve lost too much this time.” 

Rebone has paid a heavy price for his drinking issues, the judge said.

“You’ve lost a career that you’ve loved. The community has lost the benefit of your teaching skills,” Hulsing said to the defendant.

Rebone was ordered to report to the Ottawa County Jail on April 6 to start his 30-day sentence. This will allow him to start his new job at a fabrication company and figure out the process for the work release program at the jail, Hulsing said.

Once released from jail, Rebone will be on probation for two and a half years. His vehicle will be immobilized for one year. He was also ordered to complete 60 days of community service.

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