Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On January 26, 2024, a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper was dispatched to a moving violation that happened in Granite County, but the vehicle was traveling into Missoula County. The complainant, an off-duty Plains County police officer, reported that a black Dodge truck was driving erratically, crossing the fog line, and driving between the lanes. The off-duty officer advised he believed the driver was under the influence.  

The vehicle took the Bonner exit in Missoula County from Interstate 90 and stopped at the Bonner Town Pump. The trooper contacted the driver, later identified as 54-year-old Branch McAlexander. The trooper observed that McAlexander had bloodshot and watery eyes, was confused, had trouble understanding directions, and would slur his words when speaking.  

Based on the Plains County officer and the trooper’s observations, the trooper decided to conduct the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. McAlexander could not follow instructions during the HGN test, which was not conducted. McAlexander indicated six out of eight clues of impairment on the Walk and Turn Test. McAlexander attempted the One Leg Stand Test multiple times but could not complete the test. 

The trooper requested a preliminary breath sample under PAST. McAlexander provided a sample of .314 BrAC, which is nearly four times the legal limit. The trooper then read McAlexander the implied consent and McAlexander consented to a blood draw. McAlexander was later taken to the Missoula County Detention Facility. The trooper checked McAlexander’s driving records, which revealed three prior DUI convictions. 

As a result, McAlexander is currently being charged with felony DUI. On January 29, 2024, McAlexander made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $10,000. Later that night, he posted bond and was released to pretrial supervision. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

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