A Manhattan man was charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol after crashing his truck near the intersection of Carpenter and Frontage roads on Christmas Eve.
A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a report of the truck having slid off the road just after 7 p.m., and immediately noticed that the driver, 56-year-old Michael Ross Townsend, smelled strongly of alcohol and had glassy and bloodshot eyes. According to court documents, Townsend admitted he had consumed three to four Bud Lights earlier in the evening. After performing unsatisfactorily on roadside sobriety tests, Townsend provided a breath sample that measured his breath alcohol concentration at .262 percent.
Townsend was taken to the Manhattan Police Station, where he provided a second breath sample that measured .248 percent. A check of his driving history showed prior DUI convictions in 1991, 1992, 1995, 2000 and 2012. He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol and held without bond.
An intoxicated Belgrade man who admitted to throwing his wife to the ground during an argument was charged with partner or family member assault on Dec. 27.
Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a Belgrade residence at about 10:20 p.m. after receiving a report of a domestic incident in progress. According to court reports, the 37-year-old man met them outside and told them he had thrown his wife to the ground and that she was injured. He also told deputies that he was on felony probation. According to court reports, the man had dried blood on his face and hands.
A deputy then entered the home to interview the man’s wife. The report states that she had a large bump on the right side of her forehead that was bleeding. A kitchen island was on its side, and blood and kitchen utensils were on the floor.
Witnesses told deputies the man and woman are divorcing, and that the man had come to the house for a bonfire earlier in the evening. He became intoxicated while drinking, and an argument between the couple ensued. One witness said the man tried to burn the divorce documents by throwing them on the bonfire, then the couple continued the argument inside, where they “squared off” with each other and the kitchen was “destroyed.” A second witness said the man hit his wife in the head with a closed fist and threw the kitchen island.
At the request of the man’s probation officer, deputies collected a breath sample from him, which measured his breath alcohol concentration at .133 percent. He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, charged with assault, and held without bond.
A 53-year-old Three Forks man who blamed his girlfriend for letting him oversleep was charged with partner or family member assault after strangling her on Dec. 31.
According to court documents, the woman called for help from a neighbor’s home after the incident, which occurred at the residence the couple shares on Old Town Road. The woman told the officer that she and her boyfriend had argued the night before, and she had gone to sleep on the couch. She said she woke with the man on top of her with his hands around her neck, making it difficult for her to breathe. She said the man had picked her up by the neck and pushed her against a wall because he was angry that he had overslept, and he blamed her. The woman said she had fled to the neighbor’s house and called authorities because the man threatened to kill her.
Court records state that the woman had an open wound on her forehead, red marks on her upper lip, broken glasses, marks around her neck, and that she experienced pain when swallowing, all due to physical altercations with her boyfriend. She told the officer that she feared her boyfriend would choke her to the point of unconsciousness or death.
When interviewed by the sergeant, the man denied involvement in a physical altercation and said the woman had most likely caused the injuries on her neck.
The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with partner or family member assault-strangulation and held without bond.
A Belgrade woman was charged with her fifth DUI Sunday after exceeding the speed limit on Jackrabbit Lane by 20 miles per hour.
According to court documents, a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy on routine patrol noticed a car driven by 37-year-old Amber Leigh Heppler traveling at 55 miles per hour in a 35-mile zone on Jackrabbit Lane at about 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 5. The deputy then saw the car cross the solid white line dividing the intersection of Jackrabbit Lane and West Madison Avenue, then turn onto West Madison without a turn signal.
The deputy stopped the car near the intersection of South Broadway and West Missoula, and upon confronting Heppler noticed that her speech was slurred, her eyes were red and watery, and that she smelled strongly of alcoholic beverage. Heppler agreed to perform roadside sobriety tests, but then refused to complete them after she was unable to accomplish the first one satisfactorily. She refused to provide a breath sample, so she was transported to the hospital in Bozeman for a legal blood draw.
Heppler was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where she was charged with felony DUI, fifth offense, and held without bond.
A vehicle with a missing headlight caught the attention of a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy in Four Corners Monday night, resulting in the arrest of the intoxicated 26-year-old driver from Bozeman.
According to court records, the deputy noticed a GMC Sierra truck heading southbound on Jackrabbit Lane with only one headlight illuminated on Jan. 6 at about 10:30 p.m. He stopped the truck at the intersection of Hulbert Road and immediately noticed that the driver smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot and watery.
The driver said he had just come from a funeral where he had been drinking. The officer noticed an empty six-pack of Twisted Tea – an alcoholic beverage – in the backseat, and told the man he needed to conduct some roadside sobriety tests to ensure that he was safe to drive. When he opened the driver’s side door, the officer noticed an open, half-empty bottle of Twisted Tea in the door panel.
After the man’s performance on the tests indicated he was impaired, he provided a breath sample that measured his breath alcohol content at .093 percent. He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he provided a second breath sample that measured .088 percent.
A records check showed that the man had been previously convicted of driving under the influence in 2015. He was charged with a second offense, and held at the jail on $1,285 bond.
A Belgrade man was jailed for driving while intoxicated after a sheriff’s deputy noticed him driving poorly and without headlights or taillights through Four Corners early Wednesday morning.
According to court documents, the deputy on routine patrol noticed the man’s white Ford pickup traveling northbound on Jackrabbit Lane at about 1:40 a.m. on Jan. 8. As the deputy prepared to stop the car, she watched the pickup drift across the fog line multiple times and noticed that the driver attempted to correct his course with jerky movements. The 24-year-old driver appeared to be confused when the deputy told him his vehicle’s lights weren’t illuminated; she also noticed that he had red, watery eyes, smelled of an alcoholic beverage, and had thick speech. A large and nearly empty case of Budweiser beer on the truck’s back floorboard, and the deputy later found several empty beer bottles on the rear floorboard, one of which appeared to have been partially full and spilled on the floor, the records state.
The man told the officer that he and his passenger were on their way home from the Buffalo Jump club, where he had consumed one alcoholic beverage with dinner. When the deputy asked him to perform roadside sobriety tests, he was unable to walk a straight line and he exhibited numerous other indicators of intoxication.
The man refused to provide a breath sample, though he estimated aloud that he expected it register .09 percent if he did take it. A records check showed that the man had a prior conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2016.
The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was cited for driving under the influence and given a verbal warning for the light violation. He was held on $1,285 bond.