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Stevensville man charged with felony DUI

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Andrew H. Stefanac

Andrew H. Stefanac

A Stevensville man was arrested Sunday morning for felony driving under the influence after his pickup crashed into a rock landscape mezzanine at the Earth & Wood business south of Stevensville.

Andrew Henry Stefanac, 47, appeared before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey Monday.

According to the charging affidavit, the Ravalli County dispatch issued a call at 9:15 a.m. Sunday to locate a black Ford truck being driven erratically northbound on Highway 93 near the Earth & Wood business.

A caller reported the driver of the vehicle was hunched and driving very slowly. The caller said the pickup had swerved off the shoulder of the road and kept stopping and going.

Other witnesses later said the pickup pulled far onto the right shoulder of the highway and then turned quickly back into the passing lane where it almost struck a Prius. The witnesses said the vehicle drove completely off the highway, through a barrow pit and back onto the frontage road.

A Ravalli County sheriff’s officer located the truck on a frontage road south of the business. Its brake lights were illuminated. The officer could see the driver was hunched and appeared unresponsive.

The officer woke the driver by tapping on the passenger-side window. The officer asked the man to roll down his window. At that point, the driver released the brake and stepped out of the vehicle, which then moved forward about 200 yards before crashing into the rock mezzanine.

The officer noted a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the driver. The affidavit said the driver had bloodshot and watery eyes and was unsteady on his feet. He used the pickup for balance.

A deputy took over the investigation. The driver allegedly cursed at the officers, and refused to perform the field sobriety test and a preliminary breath test.

After the officers obtained a search warrant, his blood was drawn at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital.

Stefanac was also charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Stefanac has three previous DUI convictions.

Bailey set bail at $5,000.

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