A Montana man was recently charged with drunken driving and criminal endangerment after leading officer on a police chase as he drove in the wrong direction on the interstate highways. The Billings Gazette reported that the man also faced charges for resisting arrest, fleeing from an officer and driving as a habitual traffic offender.
Highway patrol troopers and sheriff’s deputies chased the suspect for 25 miles as it sped eastbound in the westbound lanes of the highways. Spike strips were unsuccessfully used in an attempt to stop his vehicle. The suspect eventually crossed over into the eastbound lanes and exited off the highway onto a nearby street. He hit a parked car on another street, then attempted to drive away before officers removed him from the car. The suspect struggled to maintain his balance, appeared very intoxicated, apparently urinated in his vehicle and could not sufficiently provide basic identifying information.
He was taken to a hospital to be examined before being taken to the county jail. He refused to submit a breath sample or take a sobriety test. According to court documents, the suspect had three prior DUI convictions and two prior convictions for driving while ability impaired in the state of Colorado. His bond was set at $50,000, and he appeared in court on July 25.
The suspect’s refusal of the breath sample and sobriety test does his defense more harm than good. His refusal will most likely work against him in court. The state of Montana has its own laws regarding the charges he faces, but the penalties he faces are likely just as harsh in Montana as they are in Colorado.
In Colorado, this guy would automatically lose his driving privileges due to the multiple DUIs and traffic violations on his record. A string of serious multiple charges pretty much nixes any chances of reduced sentences. A Colorado criminal defense attorney would certainly try, and he would be upfront with the defendant about his chances for success. Had the guy cooperated and submitted to a breath and sobriety test, the criminal defense attorney could have reviewed the validity of the tests and look for any errors or inconsistencies that would result in a reduction of charges. That still may not help the suspect in this case, because of his repeat offender status.