Aldrich charged with criminal child endangerment and DUI after c - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Aldrich charged with criminal child endangerment and DUI after crashing car

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Sarah Melodie Marlene Aldrich is facing criminal charges in Great Falls after she crashed her car while allegedly driving under the influence, with her two children in the vehicle.

The crash happened on August 14th near mile marker 10 of Old US Highway 91 southwest of Great Falls.

A Montana Highway Patrol trooper was dispatched to the scene after being notified of the rollover crash.

Aldrich sustained several cuts and bruises; her two children - ages 14 and 12 - were not seriously injured.

Court documents state that Aldrich told the trooper that she had swerved to avoid hitting an antelope, and her two children said the same thing.

The trooper was skeptical, however, because the evidence showed a gradual drift of the car off of the road, rather than a "drastic swerve to avoid striking something." 

The trooper noted that Aldrich smelled of alcohol, and had her perform a field sobriety test.

According to court documents, Aldrich agreed to a breathalyzer test, which indicated a blood-alcohol level of .334, which is more than four times the legal limit to drive.

When being treated at the hospital for her injuries, Aldrich consented to a blood draw; the sample has been sent to the state lab in Missoula for testing.

Aldrich has been charged with two felony counts of criminal child endangerment; one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (first offense); and misdemeanor counts of driving with no insurance, and driving while license is suspended/revoked.

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