Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On February 12, 2024, a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper was dispatched to a report for a single-vehicle accident located off Highway 200. The trooper learned that a brown pickup truck was traveling westbound on Highway 200, went off the right side of the roadway, and rolled.

The trooper located the driver, who was not injured and was able to exit the vehicle. The driver was identified as 39-year-old Mark Mendoza. Mendoza admitted to consuming alcohol before he crashed his vehicle.

While speaking to Mendoza, the trooper observed that his eyes were watery and bloodshot. The trooper also smelled the strong odor of alcohol emanating from Mendoza’s person. The trooper also observed Mendoza had slow speech and trouble maintaining his balance.

The trooper decided to conduct the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. According to court documents, Mendoza indicated 10 out of 18 clues of impairment on the three tests. The trooper read the Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test Advisory to Mendoza, but Mendoza refused. The trooper then read the Implied Consent Form and Mendoza agreed to a blood draw. The trooper transported Mendoza to have his blood drawn.

Mendoza was placed under arrest and was transported to the Missoula County Detention Center. Court documents indicate Mendoza has five prior DUI convictions. He is currently being charged with felony DUI.

Mendoza also committed this offense while on conditions of release in the pending matter before Montana’s Fourth Judicial District Court. In that matter, Mendoza is charged with, amongst other misdemeanor and/or traffic offenses, Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

10 Years of Data: Montana's Alcohol Consumption

Montanans are known for drinking alcohol but what does the data say? These results come from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System questionnaire and include 10 years of responses.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data [online]. 2015.

Gallery Credit: Ashley