A 33-year-old Bozeman woman was charged with child endangerment Monday after admitting to driving with two children in her car after having taken methadone.
According to court records, Belgrade police responded to a report of a possible drunk driver traveling north on Jackrabbit Lane at about 3:20 p.m. on April 27. A caller told dispatchers that a female driver was “swerving all over the road” with two children – later determined to be 4 and 11 years of age – in her car.
An officer located the woman’s vehicle as it was traveling north on Broadway Street toward Main in Belgrade and conducted a traffic stop.
The driver denied having consumed alcohol, but told the officer she had taken methadone earlier that day. The officer noted the woman’s pupils were constricted, and he called the original complainant for more information. That person said the woman had nearly driven off the road twice. The driver told him that was because she had been handing a piece of candy to one of the children in the back seat of the car.
During the investigation, the officer discovered the woman had outstanding arrest warrants. After performing poorly on field sobriety tests, she was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where the investigation continued. Reports state she felt drowsy and appeared to be falling asleep. The woman voluntarily provided a breath sample, which confirmed she had not consumed any alcohol, but she refused to provide a blood sample. A warrant for a blood draw was obtained. The officer, a trained Drug Recognition Expert, then conducted a drug influence evaluation that indicated the woman was under the influence of drugs.
The woman was charged with criminal child endangerment, a felony, and held without bond.