On Saturday, a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper responded to a crash near mile marker 117 on Interstate 90 in Missoula County. There had been a one vehicle crash and it appeared a westbound traveling vehicle went off the left side of the roadway and overturned in the median.

The Trooper made contact with the driver of the vehicle, who was receiving medical care. The Trooper noted the driver appeared to have unsteady balance, appeared to have slow and slurred speech, had bloodshot and watery eyes, and smelled of alcohol. The driver, identified as 50-year-old Aaron Clark, stated he had hit a patch of ice.

Clark appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Monday afternoon and Deputy County Attorney Carrie Garber provided more details about this case.

“One of the first things out of his mouth other than responding yes to that he consumed alcohol, was that he was going to refuse everything and not provide breath samples,” Garber said. “Warrants were obtained for his blood and we will ultimately have those results. Given the refusal, he is for sure suspended moving forward and we are going to ask that he be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle as a condition of his release.”

Garber requested a $5,000 bond and Clark’s public defender requested that his client be released on his own recognizance. Judge Alex Beal presided over the case and he provided the following statement.

“You’re ordered to participate in the pretrial supervision program and you need to check in with them at least once per month,” Beal said. “You’re not to possess or consume alcohol. You’re not to go into bars or casinos. You’re to be monitored by alcohol by the folks at pretrial and I think you would be a good candidate for the continuous alcohol monitoring, which is the ankle bracelet. You’re not to operate a motor vehicle while the case is pending. I won’t impose a monetary bond. You are released on your own recognizance. However, you are to be released to the folks at pretrial who will come and pick you up.”

Clark was charged with one count of felony DUI and court documents indicate he has four prior DUI convictions.

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