High-Speed Chase in Missoula Ends With a Felony DUI Arrest
At around 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, a Missoula Police Officer observed a Dodge Ram pickup truck travelling eastbound on Mullan Road. The truck drove over the center median, partially onto the wrong side of the roadway. The officer then followed the truck and observed it travelling in the bicycle lane. According to Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh, the officer activated his overhead lights and attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
“Rather than pulling to the side of the road and stopping, the vehicle continued driving away from the officer and led him on what eventually became a pursuit,” Welsh said. “They traveled around the North Street area before eventually turning westbound on Mullan Road where it reached speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour before turning south on Kona Ranch Road.”
The pursuit continued for some time with the truck failing to stop at multiple stop signs and nearly sideswiping another vehicle at the intersection of Reserve Street and Union Pacific. The pursuing officer became concerned due to the darkness, wet roads, and other motorists on the roadway. He also noted the truck had driven into the bicycle lane and in the wrong lane of travel, occasionally into on-coming traffic.
“The vehicle then abruptly pulled over to the right, just north of the Kona Ranch Bridge, and the driver put both hands out the window,” Welsh said. “The driver was eventually identified as 54-year-old Christopher Cutts. He was placed under arrest for DUI as well as several other traffic offenses related to the incident. He was transported to the Missoula County Jail.”
The officer observed that Cutts was extremely unbalanced on his feet and was swaying from side to side. An officer obtained a warrant for a blood draw because Cutts has four prior DUI convictions in the State of Montana. He then transported Cutts to St. Pat’s Hospital for a blood draw and booked him into jail.
Cutts was charged with felony DUI, felony criminal endangerment, feeling from or eluding a peace officer, driving with a suspended license, and failure to carry proof of liability insurance.