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The Belgrade News

Cops & Courts for Dec. 21

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Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 10:02 am

Drunk driver gets ride home after wrecking, still gets DUI

A Belgrade woman was arrested for her fourth Driving Under the Influence citation after driving her SUV into a ditch, leaving the vehicle running and catching a ride home.

Amber Leigh Widner, 30, was charged with her fourth DUI, third Driving without Insurance and first Driving without a Valid Driver’s License charge.

According to court documents, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Justin Braun found Widner’s car in on the Frontage Road near mile marker 23. Braun found Widner’s gray GMC Yukon still running with no one around at 1:30a.m. Wednesday morning.

The witness who called in the incident told Braun that there was a woman in the driver’s side of the vehicle when it veered off the road. Braun ran a check of the vehicle and found it was registered to a Bryce Widner. Braun could not reach Bryce by telephone.

The trooper found a wallet in the front seat of the car and a cell phone belonging to Amber Widner. Braun collected the items and began to take them to the Belgrade address listed on Widner’s Montana identification card. As Braun was en route to the house, a sheriff’s deputy saw a white Subaru pull up to the Widner’s house.

The deputy made contact with the driver and his passenger, Widner. The Subaru driver said he picked Widner up from the Town Pump in Belgrade and gave her a ride home.

When the deputy was talking to Widner he said he could detect alcohol on her breath. Law enforcement called in the original witness who described Widner to the deputy.

The description matched and Widner was taken to the Belgrade Police Department where she provided a breath sample that revealed she was driving with a blood alcohol content of .204, more than two times the legal limit to operate a vehicle in Montana.  

Widner was charged with her 4th DUI and booked at the Gallatin County Detention Center. She has already bonded out of jail.

Father-son duo charged with drug possession and DUI

An Indiana man was arresting for Driving Under the Influence despite blowing a 0.00 on his Breathalyzer test early Tuesday morning. His father and front seat passenger was cited for Possession of Dangerous Drugs.

According to court documents, James Thomas McBride was speeding on Interstate 90 at about 90 to 100 miles per hour at 1:30 a.m. just outside of Logan. Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Amundson activated his emergency lights.  

When the trooper approached McBride’s Pontiac Grand Prix, he could smell alcohol.

“The driver spoke rapidly, was unusually confident and his hands trembled,” Amundson wrote in his report.

McBride explained his shakes by saying that he had ADHD, drank a Red Bull energy drink and hadn’t slept all night, court documents state. Amundson wrote McBride a ticket and then began a DUI investigation.

McBride performed poorly on his field sobriety test but blew a 0.00 on his breathalyzer test.

Court documents state that Amundson charged McBride with a DUI and called a tow truck to retrieve his vehicle. The affidavit does not state what McBride was under the influence of while driving.

During his investigation, Amundson interviewed McBride’s father and passenger in the vehicle, Patrick. The trooper determined that the smell of alcohol was emanating from the older McBride.

Amundson asked if he could search Patrick, and he complied. Amundson found a small flashlight in Patrick’s jacket pocket. In the battery compartment of the flashlight, Amundson found a little plastic baggy containing a tarry substance.

The trooper conducted a drug test and determined the tarry substance was heroin. Patrick admitted to Amundson that he is a heroin user.

As his son was being processed for DUI, Patrick was charged with Possession of Dangerous Drugs. James McBride has bonded out of jail for his DUI. Patrick McBride is still sitting in the Gallatin County Detention Center on $30,000 bond.

© 2015 The Belgrade News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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