Miss Montana: DUI?

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This isn’t good: Jennifer Hepner, the current Miss Montana, who hails from Great Falls and is a CMR grad, may be facing a DUI charge. The Trib article says that she pleaded not guilty to the charge, but note also this:

But Hepner, who pleaded not guilty at her initial court appearance, filed a petition in Gallatin County District Court on Feb. 4. She said the traffic stop and arrest were illegal, and the arresting officer did not follow proper procedure.

There’s no way this is going to wind up looking good: either Miss Montana was driving under the influence, or the Bozeman police may have acted improperly.

See also the previous entry on Hepner.

Miss Montana Jennifer Hepner

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6 Comments

  1. You’re right…this isn’t good. She spoke at the recent Honor Roll assembly at CMR (Feb. 12) and the principal and others were really singing her praises. Even if she gets off it isn’t setting a good example. In fact it may be worse for everyone (including herself) if she beats the charge.

  2. The District Court action is a separate, civil action contesting the probable cause of her stop. Since she refused to give a breath sample, under Montana’s Implied Consent statute, she automatically loses her license for 6 months.

    The only way you do not give your implied consent to a BAC test, though, is if there was no probable cause for the stop in the first place. Thus, if the District Judge finds no probable cause, she gets her license back.

    This is not an unusual tactic, nor does it reflect poorly on her. Look at it this way: You might have had a couple beers, but you are not impaired. You get pulled over for no reason. You ask for the chance to speak to your lawyer, but the officer refuses. Thus, you don’t really understand the consequences of the BAC or of the refusal. So you say “no.”

    If it turns out that there was no good reason to pull you over in the first place, shouldn’t you walk?

  3. Driving without your headlights on is pretty good probable cause for a stop. If you’ve only had a couple of beers why wouldn’t you give a sample (after a legit traffic stop) unless you were over the limit. DUI’s are a defense lawyers bread and butter.

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