Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drunk dad charged with child endangerment, DUI (Billings, Montana)

Dad ROSS EVAN BERG is charged with child endangering--after he drove his obviously distraught and crying 7-year-old daughter to school while he had a blood alcohol content level at 4X the state legal limit. He is also charged with misdemeanor DUI. (Now if this was in New York state about a month from now, we'd be seeing a felony charge.)

Father charged with endangering child
Story DiscussionGazette Staff Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 12:00 pm

A 45-year-old Billings man accused of driving his 7-year-old daughter to school with a blood alcohol content four times the state legal limit was arraigned today in District Court.

Ross Evan Berg appeared before Judge Gregory Todd by video from the county jail and pleaded not guilty to felony criminal endangerment and misdemeanor DUI. Todd set bond at $15,000.

According to court records, a motorist called 911 on Nov. 19 shortly before 8 a.m. to report a possible drunken driver in the area of South 56th Street West and Hesper Road. The motorist later said the driver of a 2003 Ford Mustang was swerving down the road and other vehicles had to stop to avoid a collision.

The Mustang pulled into a driveway, and the concerned motorist said he used his vehicle to block the car from returning to the road. The driver of the Mustang got the car stuck in a ditch when he tried to go around the blocked driveway. A young girl got out of the car crying, court record state.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived and found the Mustang stuck in the ditch. Berg was identified as the driver and told the deputy he had to get his daughter to school. The deputy said Berg smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and he was unstable on his feet, court records state.

An hour later, after Berg was arrested, a breath test showed his blood alcohol level was 0.321 percent, four times the state legal limit of intoxication of 0.08, the records say.

During the arraignment, a prosecutor said Berg has a misdemeanor DUI conviction in 1999 and a 1985 conviction for leaving the scene of an injury accident. A public defender said Berg is employed and is active in Alcoholics Anonymous.