Posted: Jun 21, 2013 9:04 PM by MTN News
GREAT FALLS - Montana State Senator Shannon Augare (D-Browning) has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, obstruction of a peace officer, and reckless driving after a controversial traffic stop several weeks ago.
According to federal court documents, on May 26th two people called 911 to report an erratic driver heading from Cut Bank to Browning.
Glacier County Sheriff's Deputy Connelly stopped the vehicle on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and asked the driver, "Do you know why I stopped you?"
The driver responded, "I am Shannon Augare. Why did you stop me?"
Connelly then told Augare there was a report of an intoxicated driver. Augare replied, "You have no jurisdiction. So, I am going to go."
Connelly directed Augare to turn off his vehicle and then reached into the car, tried to put the car in park and take the keys, and stated, "You are highly intoxicated."
Augare then revved his engine and sped away in the vehicle.
Connelly then called Blackfeet Dispatch to inform them that Augare was intoxicated and heading toward Browning.
At that time Blackfeet law enforcement officers began looking for Augare. They found his car turning into a ranch and pulling behind some grain bins.
When Blackfeet officers approached the vehicle, the driver was no longer Shannon Augare, but rather his mother Marla.
The keys to the vehicle were not in the ignition and the headlights were turned off.
Blackfeet officers did not conduct a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests. The officers gave Augare and his mother a ride home.
Interviews with witnesses and a review of security footage show that Augare had spent between five and six hours at the Pioneer Bar in Cut Bank consuming alcoholic drinks.