A Corvallis man with nine convictions of driving under the influence appeared in Ravalli County Justice Court Monday on the same charge.
David Triplett, 59, was arrested Saturday following a complaint of erratic driving near Eagle’s Lodge in downtown Hamilton.
The man who called police said Triplett’s vehicle had nearly crashed into his after following too close, according to Ravalli County Deputy County Attorney Bill Lower’s charging affidavit. The man told a Hamilton police he then saw Triplett’s minivan with Washington license plates drive onto the sidewalk at the intersection of South First and Main streets.
The officer located the vehicle and made a traffic stop. The affidavit said the officer could smell alcoholic beverage when he first made contact with the driver.
Triplett denied allegations that he had been driving erratically. He told the officer that someone from the “Bandidos” had called in the complaint because they were “after him,” according to the affidavit.
Triplett had a suspended driver’s license from Washington state. He said he was visiting from Seattle. He also denied consuming any alcohol.
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After another officer arrived on the scene, Triplett refused to do any field sobriety testing. He told the officers he drank two vodka cranberry cocktails earlier in the day, according to the affidavit.
A preliminary breath sample resulted in a 0.114 breath alcohol content. In Montana, a person is considered legally impaired at .08.
Triplett was arrested for DUI.
Triplett has prior DUI convictions in Montana in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He has DUI convictions in Washington state in 1991, 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2015 as well as one in Wyoming in 2009.
Triplett was charged with felony DUI and a misdemeanor count of driving while his license was suspended. Bail was set at $20,000.