At around 11:45 p.m. on Friday, Missoula Police officers responded to the report of collision in 3600 block of Stephens Avenue. Upon arrival officers noticed the front end of a Toyota Corolla was under a Dodge truck. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“It is reported that a vehicle traveling on Stephens had actually struck an unoccupied parked vehicle,” Welsh said. “When they arrived they found both vehicles in the roadway and the passenger car was occupied by an adult female and a child who was later determined to be four years of age.”

Court documents indicate the driver appeared to be “passed out” and delirious. An officer also noted there was damage to the windshield consistent with the female striking it with her head. He noticed she had fresh blood on her forehead, face and hands.

The officer contacted the female in the driver’s seat and identified her as 26-year-old Essence Ramirez. The officer noted the strong odor of intoxicants emanating from her person.

“The officers conducted their investigation and arrested Ramirez for driving under the influence of alcohol and also for criminal child endangerment because they child that was in the car was unsecured in a child’s seat,” Welsh said. “Ramirez and child were initially transported to the hospital for examination. However, both were subsequently released. The child was released to a legal guardian and Ramirez was transported to the Missoula County Jail.”

Ramirez said she had four drinks and that her alcohol tolerance was diminished because she had not drank in a long time. A check of her criminal history revealed one prior DUI conviction.

Ramirez was charged with felony child criminal endangerment and misdemeanor DUI. Her charging documents can be found here.

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