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Local charged with 10th DUI

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POLSON — A 67-year-old Polson-area resident with nine DUI convictions under his belt was charged with a 10th last week in Lake County District Court. Gerald Johnson, an employee of the Jolly Pack Rat secondhand store, whose driver’s license bears an Oldtown, Idaho, address, pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fourth or subsequent offense, a felony, in Judge C.B. McNeil’s court on Sept. 5. 

Just after 5 a.m. on Aug. 17, a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped Johnson for driving erratically on U.S. Highway 93 in Pablo. According to the affidavit in the case, Johnson was straddling the two northbound lanes and varying his speed significantly for no apparent reason. The arresting officer noticed Johnson smelled of alcohol and had what appeared to be vomit on his shirt. After he refused field sobriety tests, Johnson was taken to the Lake County Jail, where he again refused to perform sobriety tests. He did submit to a breath test that showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of .146 percent. 

Johnson has nine prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and had been placed in a residential alcohol treatment program after a prior conviction. 

He was released on $50,000 bond, and an omnibus hearing was set for Wednesday, Nov. 7. A jury trial is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28.

The maximum penalty for a felony DUI is five years in the Department of Corrections and a $10,000 fine. 

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