A motorist who allegedly stopped to buy more alcohol while he was drunk faces a felony charge of driving under the influence.
Marc Scott Strasdin, 42, appeared Tuesday in Missoula County Justice Court on the charge.
A Town Pump employee told Missoula police that an intoxicated man – who’d bought several cans of High Gravity malt liquor at the store earlier in the day day – returned to the North Reserve Street business at 12:45 p.m. Monday and tried to buy more alcohol, but was denied, according to charging documents.
Authorities identified Strasdin by tracking the purple Nissan he allegedly drove away in, according to the documents.
The employee told police that the man “had an orange liquid smeared all over his face, which appeared to be the contents of those beverages. It was reported that the male smelled of alcohol. It also appeared that he had urinated himself,” according to the affidavit filed by Assistant Chief Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Clark.
Meanwhile, police got another call from Mullan Station saying the man tried to buy alcohol there and drove away after being refused, Clark’s affidavit said.
Police were familiar with Strasdin, according to the affidavit, because they’d gotten a report the previous week that he’d tried to buy alcohol while drunk, but drove away before police could get there, it said. On that occasion, he’d also bragged to a clerk that he couldn’t be processed for DUI because of a medical condition, it said.
On Monday, the man came back to Mullan Station yet again and was there when police arrived, according to Clark’s affidavit.
“He initially denied driving but eventually acknowledged that he had driven there,” the affidavit said. He couldn’t perform field sobriety tests because of his medical condition, according to the affidavit, which did not specify the condition.
But police charged him with DUI based on witness accounts, his purchase of several cans of malt liquor, the smell of alcohol and his driving, it said.
He was released from the Missoula County jail Monday after posting bond on $10,000 bail. On Tuesday, Missoula County Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech ordered him to not to drink or go to bars, and added, “No driving. At all. For any reason. You cannot drive.”
Strasdin was convicted of driving under the influence in 2009 and twice in 2007, according to court records. DUI becomes a felony upon fourth conviction, carrying a penalty of between 13 months in prison and not more than five years, suspended, and a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000.
Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, firstname.lastname@example.org or @CopsAndCourts.