Hamilton man faces felony for allegedly driving wrong way on Highway 93

2013-04-05T07:45:00Z 2013-04-05T08:11:09Z Hamilton man faces felony for allegedly driving wrong way on Highway 93 missoulian.com

A Hamilton man accused of driving the wrong way on U.S. Highway 93 South in Missoula County faces a felony charge of criminal endangerment.

Omar Rodriguez-Martinez, 19, was arrested Wednesday after a report of someone driving slowly north in the southbound lane of the highway, according to charging documents filed by Assistant Chief Deputy County Attorney Suzy Boylan.

When a Missoula County sheriff’s deputy located the white passenger car, it was on the shoulder of the northbound lane, Boylan’s affidavit said.

The driver appeared dazed and stumbled when he got out of the car, it said.

“His eyes were red and watery and his pupils dilated. A cigarette which later tested positive for marijuana was on the driver’s side floorboard,” the affidavit said.

Rodriguez-Martinez, who doesn’t speak English, told a Spanish-speaking University of Montana police officer that “he and a friend purchased ‘spice’ (synthetic cannabis) from a store in Missoula,” it said. He denied using alcohol or marijuana and consented to a blood draw, it said.

Other motorists told sheriff’s deputies they saw the vehicle traveling slowly in the passing lane, drifting into their lane and almost hitting an oncoming car head-on before striking the guardrail and coasting about 100 yards before stopping, it said.

Bail for Rodriguez-Martinez was set at $10,000 on Thursday in Missoula County Justice Court. Criminal endangerment carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

Rodriguez-Martinez also was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a misdemeanor.

Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, gwen.florio@missoulian.com, or @CopsAndCourts.

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(5) Comments

  1. JacksonB
    Report Abuse
    JacksonB - April 05, 2013 9:20 am
    Actually MM, it is an interstate hwy, it's full name is US Route 93 which crosses several states, what would your classic definition of an interstate hwy be?
  2. Roger
    Report Abuse
    Roger - April 05, 2013 8:29 am
    Is he in this country illegally? He doesn't speak English, and has a Hispanic name - seems like a good possibility. If so, send him back to where he came from.
  3. grizcountry
    Report Abuse
    grizcountry - April 05, 2013 8:23 am
    Deport him back to mexico...
  4. montanamuralist
    Report Abuse
    montanamuralist - April 04, 2013 6:29 pm
    There is no Interstate 93...sheesh..ok I guess you guys will argue semantics with me but it is not an interstate highway in the classic definition. This is how the little boy was killed a few months ago in Clinton y the driver of a pickup going the wrong way on the Interstate....you have to be pretty wasted to do that...
  5. pl
    Report Abuse
    pl - April 04, 2013 6:16 pm
    As if 93 isn't dangerous enough with a 19 year old drug addict going the wrong direction! Lock him up and keep him there until he realizes drugs and driving don't mix! He's only 19. Now's the time to get tough with him.
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