Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On October 19, 2023, a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper was dispatched to a report of a vehicle crash near the intersection of Highway 10 West and Laflesch Lane. A caller had notified law enforcement that he had witnessed a green four-door sedan go through an intersection but ended up in the ditch. The driver was burning the vehicle’s tires trying to get out.  

Upon arriving on scene, the trooper observed a green Honda sedan throwing smoke trying unsuccessfully to get out of the ditch. The trooper approached the driver’s side of the vehicle. The driver remained in the car and continued trying to drive out of the ditch. The trooper observed an open container of Bud Light on the driver’s lap.  

The driver was identified as 60-year-old Mark O’Connor. O’Connor was slurring his speech, had bloodshot and watery eyes, and smelled like urine, feces, and an alcoholic beverage. The trooper observed that O’Connor had difficulty walking after exiting the vehicle.  

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The trooper administered standardized field sobriety tests and observed 6/6 possible clues on the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test and 2/4 possible clues on the One-Legged stand test. O’Connor refused to perform the Walk and Turn Test.  

O’Connor refused to provide a preliminary breath sample but later consented to an Intoxilyzer breath test, which showed a breath alcohol concentration of .198. O’Connor was placed under arrest and was transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility. 

He is currently being charged with felony aggravated DUI, careless driving, and unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle on the highway. According to court documents, O’Connor has four prior DUI convictions out of California and possibly another in Arizona. 

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

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