Micah Gray said she’s grateful for her latest DUI arrest because it forced her to take her addiction seriously.
The court expressed some skepticism, since it was Gray’s fourth DUI in Teton County. But 9th District Court Judge Timothy Day sentenced the 34-year-old mother of two to intensive supervised probation with a prison sentence hanging over her head if she violates again.
At Gray’s Tuesday afternoon sentencing in Teton County District Court, Teton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Clark Allan argued for prison.
“We take DUI very seriously in this county and the reason we do, which gets lost in the bushes, is because it’s dangerous,” Allan said. “People die.”
Allan reminded the court that Gray was pulled over in March because several concerned drivers called 911 after witnessing her erratic driving.
“Gray stated she was fine and was waiting to pick up her son from day care,” Allan said. “That’s terrifying.”
When Gray was arrested in March, she was still on probation for a previous DUI in 2018.
Her other offenses were in 2015 and 2014, records state.
“My greatest fear is if we stop short, we won’t get another chance,” Allan said.
Gray’s attorney, Elisabeth Trefonas, told the court that her client has accepted her alcoholism and is taking steps to overcome it.
“She is of the mind to practice radical acceptance in her recovery,” Trefonas said.
Gray said she pleaded guilty because she has decided to be transparent about her struggles and her addiction.
She told the court she’s inspired to become a counselor because of the help she received at Turning Point.
“I am really serious about my recovery,” Gray said. “It’s the most important thing to me. I have an opportunity I never thought I would [ever] have to create a sustainable life for me and my children.”
Gray said she wants to get her master’s degree from The King’s University in Dallas, Texas, and that she has a support system that allows her to attend school and provide care for her 15-month-old son.
But Judge Day said that for now, Gray needs to stay in Teton County and complete five years of intensive supervised probation.
“The fact that you were picking up your son is crazy,” Day said. “Addiction is crazy, isn’t it? The most dangerous thing that happens in Teton County every day is driving under the influence. You could just as easily be here facing vehicular homicide charges.”
But Day doesn’t believe jail has helped Gray.
“She’s done 35 days in jail and yet that hasn’t changed Ms. Gray’s behavior,” Day said. “Why hasn’t it? Because jail doesn’t fix alcoholism.”
Day said he hopes that Gray can someday go to school, but now isn’t the right time.
“I need to see a track record of real sobriety,” Day said.
Gray’s supervised probation will include random tests, a mental health evaluation and continued substance abuse treatment.
Gray is facing three to seven years in state prison if she violates probation.
“We know that for people to get control of their alcoholism and addictions, it isn’t a 30-day program at Turning Point that does the trick,” Day said. “It’s learning all of the skills you need to manage your addiction and putting them into practice, and that’s a long-term thing. The longer you are sober and the longer you’re in recovery, the better chances you have to stay sober.”