On Wednesday, December 17, a Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputy arrested
a motorist in the Billings area that was allegedly asleep behind the wheel
while the vehicle was running. The 33-year-old female driver was subsequently
taken into custody for DUI. According to the
Billings Gazette, the motorist has four prior DUI convictions dating back to the period
from 2002 to 2010.
Deputy Approaches Vehicle
According to charging documents, a deputy observed a vehicle parked along
the road near the Billings area intersection of Highway 87 East and Coburn
Road. When the deputy approached the vehicle, he saw two individuals apparently
asleep with the ignition on. The officer knocked on the driver's side
window, but the driver was reportedly unresponsive. He then opened the
door and reached in to turn off the ignition. The motorist reportedly
did not awaken until he shook her shoulder.
Breath Test Administered
A breath test given to the motorist returned a blood-alcohol reading of
0.288 percent. She was subsequently arrested for DUI, and she was also
charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license. The passenger
required transport to an area hospital due to her allegedly intoxicated state.
Bail Set at $10,000
A deputy Yellowstone County prosecutor requested in court that bail be
set at $10,000. He cited the defendant's history of prior convictions
and traffic citations to support his request. The presiding Justice of
the Peace did set bond at $10,000. The defendant will appear in court
on December 30 in order to enter a plea.
Although no injuries resulted from this incident, it does point to the
hazards posed by allegedly intoxicated motorists along Montana's roadways.
Under the state's laws, when injuries do result from impaired driving,
victims may seek redress in the state's civil courts. When it is reasonable
to claim that another party engaged in negligent operation of a motor
vehicle, injured parties may seek compensation for medical bills, pain,
suffering and possible lost wages. To learn more, please