Prosecutors in Butte-Silver Bow have charged a Jefferson City man with seven prior convictions for drunken driving with yet another felony DUI.
Randolph Louis Surges, 51, did not appear for his arraignment on that and two misdemeanor charges Thursday, telling his public defender he had a chest cold.
Prosecutor Ann Shea said she was concerned about his no-show because Surges was not being regularly tested for alcohol consumption, a condition required as part of his bail, plus he had numerous DUI convictions.
District Judge Kurt Krueger agreed to postpone the arraignment for two weeks but said if Surges was not undergoing regular testing by then, he would put him in jail.
According to state troopers, Surges was driving a pickup on Interstate 90 a few miles east of Anaconda around 7:20 a.m. on July 23 when he apparently fell asleep and rolled the vehicle in the median. It was resting upside down when a trooper arrived.
Surges took a breath test that showed his blood-alcohol content at .189 — more than twice the legal limit. A pipe used to smoke meth was found in the crash debris and Surges had a marijuana pipe on him, prosecutors say.
He was charged with felony DUI and two misdemeanors — possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to carry proof of insurance.
Dispatch advised he had seven prior DUI convictions, the most recent being July 2015. If convicted on this one, he could be sentenced to the Montana Department of Correction for up to five years.
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