On July 21, 2022, at around 5:44 pm, a 911 caller reported a drunk driver in the area of South Higgins Avenue and Beverly Avenue. The caller stated that the vehicle was all over the road, ran a stop sign, and had stopped in the road. The caller was especially worried because they observed a child in the vehicle. Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold picks up the story. 

“Officers located the vehicle and observed the driving behavior of the driver,” Arnold said. “The officer initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, Chanelle Thibault. The officer observed indicators of impairment. Thibault refused to get out of the vehicle when the officer requested to conduct the standardized field sobriety test. Thibault was advised she was under arrest and still refused to get out of the vehicle. Several officers were needed to get Thibault out of the car.” 

Officers had to forcefully remove Thibault from her vehicle. The incident occurred during rush hour and there was heavy traffic. Traffic was driving by while three officers struggled to handcuff Thibault. According to court documents, Thibault put officers at risk of substantial injury while resisting.  

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“Officers observed an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle,” Arnold said. “Officers were able to locate a responsible person to come and care for the child. Thibault continued to be uncooperative during the contact with law enforcement. During the investigation, Thibault told officers something to the effect of she had made a mistake tonight. The initial callers to 911 stayed and provided statements to police about their observations. This case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department.” 

Thibault is currently being charged with felony child criminal endangerment, felony criminal endangerment, and obstructing a peace officer. 

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

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