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Man racks up astonishing 10th DUI

A man was, amazingly, charged with his 10th DUI after allegedly causing a motorcycle wreck while drunk driving. The driver, who had previous convictions in Montana, Wyoming, Texas and North Dakota, reportedly caused the car accident when he turned his large SUV in front of a motorcycle at an intersection in Billings.

The accident occurred at about 8 p.m. on Oct. 19, when a Billings police officer witnessed the 60-year-old man driving in front of the motorcyclist. The 42-year-old operator of the motorcycle was not injured in the crash, though it remains unclear whether his vehicle sustained damage.

Officers said that the man was arrested after refusing to submit to a breath test. He performed poorly on a field sobriety test, and so he was taken into custody. There, a search warrant was obtained for a blood sample, though authorities have not released the results of the toxicology test.

The man reportedly has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal endangerment and DUI, both felonies. He also denies the accompanying misdemeanor charge of driving without a valid license. The man posted the required $20,000 bond and was released on his own recognizance, though he is required to wear an alcohol-monitoring device at all times.

Although some people are repeat DUI offenders, few ever accumulate so many convictions while still insisting upon driving. Only a minute percentage of people are ever arrested for 10 or more drunk driving convictions, largely because of protective measures that have been introduced to protect Americans from such public nuisances.

The motorcyclist who was hit in the collision could file a civil suit to recover additional money if his bike was damaged because of the crash. That man is extremely fortunate that he was not injured in the collision. If he had sustained serious trauma, he could have filed a personal injury suit against the irresponsible driver. Still, media reports indicated that the man may have sustained minor injuries, which could be claimed in a court case for pain and suffering, lost wages and other liabilities.

Source: The Billings Gazette, "Man charged with 10th DUI, endangering motorcyclist," Greg Tuttle, Oct. 30, 2012

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