On Sunday, a Missoula Police Department officer was patrolling the area of Russell Street when he observed a vehicle make a left turn from Birch Street onto Russell Street. The vehicle appeared to have rolled through the stop sign prior to turning onto Russell. The officer then observed the vehicle take an abrupt right turn to proceed eastbound on Phillips Street, while failing to utilize a turn signal.

The officer conducted a traffic stop and approached the passenger side of the vehicle. The driver had difficulty rolling down the window and appeared confused. The officer then went to the driver’s side window and spoke with the driver who was later identified as 54-year-old Rebecca Malek.

Malek was unable to provide a valid registration or proof of insurance. While speaking with Malek, the officer noted she appeared dazed, her responses were delayed, and her speech was slurred. The officer asked Malek to step out of the vehicle, at which time he noted the smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person.

Malek agreed to provide a breath sample and the sample was 0.235% BAC. Court documents indicate Malek has six prior DUI convictions. Malek was taken into custody and then transported to St. Patrick Hospital where a legal blood draw was conducted.

On Monday afternoon, Malek made her initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court. Deputy County Attorney Carrie Garber asked Judge Alex Beal to set bond in the amount of $15,000.

“This will be her seventh DUI, she is currently on probation for her sixth DUI,” Garber said. “She was only to be driving with an ignition interlock device installed in her vehicle, which was not installed, and the approval of her probation officer, which I doubt she had. Based on that, your honor, she poses a significant risk to this community. This is precisely the sort of person who, based on the number DUIs she has actually been caught for, it is a miracle she hasn’t killed someone to date.”

Judge Beal set bond in the amount of $25,000.

“It appears that you do have two current felony DUI sentences that are pending,” Beal said. “In addition to that, the allegation here is that you provided a breath sample of three times the legal limit. That suggests someone who has an uncontrolled and perhaps uncontrollable, at the moment, drinking problem. That needs to be addressed in a more significant way before you can safely be released.”

Malek is currently being charged with one count of felony DUI.

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

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