A 54-year-old Hamilton man was arrested for felony DUI after drawing attention to himself by flashing the light bar on his vehicle numerous times.
John David Cormie appeared Monday before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey.
According to Deputy County Attorney Angela Wetzsteon’s charging affidavit, a Ravalli County sheriff’s deputy first noticed Cormie’s vehicle at about 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 9 while patrolling Highway 93 near Hamilton.
The vehicle was southbound in the right-hand lane when the deputy noticed it flash its light bar several times.
At that point, the affidavit said the deputy saw the vehicle cross the fog line and then jerk back into the southbound lane. It then crossed the center line and into the left southbound lane multiple times.
The deputy saw an oncoming vehicle flash its bright lights at the Cormie’s vehicle, which continued to flash its light bar.
The deputy attempted to perform a traffic stop, but Cormie did not initially respond. After the deputy turned on her car’s siren, he pulled over by the Riverside Gas Station in Hamilton.
Cormie told the deputy he was on his way home to Hamilton from Washington State University. The affidavit said Cormie told the deputy he had not “had a drop” of alcohol to drink.
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The deputy noted that Cormie appeared confused and did not know he was in Hamilton. He denied taking any medication or having any medical issues.
A Ravalli County sergeant took over the investigation at that point.
The affidavit said he noticed the odor of alcohol on Cormie’s breath and saw that his movements were slow and deliberate. When the sergeant asked about alcohol use, the affidavit said Cormie admitted to consuming some in Washington state.
A preliminary breath test resulted in a .222 breath alcohol content. After being arrested, a second breath test came back with a .212 BrAC.
In Montana, the legal limit for drivers is .08 BrAC.
Cormie has three previous DUIs. One in Utah in 1996 and two in California in 2004 and 2007.
Bailey set bail at $10,000.