Woman accused of DUI with toddler in vehicle

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A Flathead Valley woman is facing charges after authorities allege she drove drunk with a toddler in the vehicle.

Joylee Lyn Viera, 41, could face up to 10 years in the Montana State Prison if convicted on a felony charge of criminal child endangerment.

According to court documents, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper and a Flathead County Sheriff’s deputy were called Saturday, Jan. 14, to the parking lot of a business on U.S. 2, east of Kalispell for a report of a disoriented woman and a young child inside a vehicle. When the deputy spoke with her, he could tell she was very drunk and he saw a little girl in the vehicle.

The deputy then spoke to the person who called 911 and he said he was closing his business when he saw the vehicle drive into the lot. The man said the vehicle was in the lot for about 10 minutes with the right blinker light activated and then the hazard lights. The horn also sounded and the business owner talked to the driver and noted she was disoriented, the complaint said. When he looked into the vehicle he saw the 2-year-old child in the front seat and not restrained. Viera then thanked the man and tried to drive away, which prompted the man to call police.

When the trooper arrived, he spoke with Viera and she said she had pulled over to rest in the parking lot because she knew she shouldn’t be driving, the complaint said. When the trooper performed a standard field sobriety test on Viera, he noted sluggish motor skills, slurred speech and the inability to answer simple questions.

She agreed to a breath test and it registered 0.263. She refused having her blood taken, but a warrant was obtained for it and a sample was sent to the Montana State Crime Lab for analysis.

Viera is scheduled to appear in court for a formal arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com

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