May 03, 2017
By Brett Bernsten
An 88-year-old Plains man and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Elder has been charged with his ninth drunken driving offense.
Patrick Allen Pierre pleaded not guilty on April 20 in Lake County District Court to two counts of felony driving under the influence. According to a district court affidavit, Pierre has seven prior DUI convictions.
The latest charges stem from a pair of alleged incidents in March, where Pierre was discovered to have blood alcohol levels of more than twice the legal limit to drive, according to the affidavit.
On March 13, a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy allegedly found Pierre asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle parked alongside U.S. 93 near milepost 32. Pierre reportedly smelled of alcohol and was combative once roused. Law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant to perform a blood alcohol content test, which revealed Pierre to have a BAC of .207 percent, the affidavit states.
Less than two weeks later, on March 24, Pierre was again suspected of drunken driving after he was reported to have backed into a sign outside the 44 Bar near St. Ignatius. Unable to perform a field sobriety test, Pierre was taken to a local hospital where he was discovered to have a blood alcohol content of .227 percent, according to the affidavit.
Pierre is a CSKT tribal elder and member of the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee.
Lake County District Court Judge Deborah K. Christopher originally revoked Pierre’s request for bond, however bond was later established at $20,000.
Christopher also granted a motion to transfer the case to Missoula County District Court Judge John W. Larson due to Pierre’s “significant local public relationship with ... the CSKT reservation.”
Pierre’s defense attorney was removed from the case after Pierre was deemed ineligible to receive representation from the Montana Office of Public Defenders.
A jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 21.
Comment by Robert Starks
May 3, 2017
The most honored and the greatest of elder's living on the flathead reservation, Mr. Pat Pierre has once again been honored by the justice community of Lake County, Montana.
Elder Pat Pierre has had seven opportunities to drive a dangerous weapon while under the influence, allowing Mr. Pierre the right to kill someone or kill many. The choice is yours.
But it gets better.... He has been arrested for not only his eighth operating (DUI) but his ninth, both occurring in the same month. Mr. Pierre, the tribal elder the most honored, has had no less than nine opportunities to commit murder while on the roads of Montana. Wow, what a guy.
No one need feel sorry for Pierre. It is absolutely ludicrous that he was allowed to drive with so many DUI convictions in the first place. But remember, Pierre is a stellar member of a super special-interest group; a group where one can, depending upon their name, get away with murder—not to mention attempted murder.
He's out on a $20,000 dollar bond... One can only wonder where the bond money came from, perhaps it’s part of the tax owed to Lake County from the Kerr dam giveaway.
I actually have far more questions concerning Mr. Pierre. How is it that the judicial system looked the other way on this guy? After his third arrest I would classify him as a habitual offender, yet it appears that did not happen—and then there is the question I have concerning all media on this. US 93 has more deaths occurring on it than any other highway in the US of A, according to Readers Digest of some years ago. Already this year we have had at least three deaths, I believe, on the portion of US 93 that runs within the Flathead Reservation. Why has no one in the press asked about the number of deaths related to DUI? But more importantly, why is it that the judges here in Lake County have not been pinned down concerning cases of multiple DUI charges—such as Pat Pierre’s? Does Pierre have a driver’s license? If so, why? Is it not the job of a reporter to ask the hard questions in order to seek answers and thereby protect the public? Pierre was given a license to kill and maim every single time he was let go. He could care less whom he might kill—Indian, non-Indian, children. Pierre is not alone in his complicity. Every single judge who touched Pierre on a DUI charge is as guilty as Pat Pierre.
I feel the same about those media outlets who reported on Pierre's arrest. Not one of them protected the citizens by providing them with the information about Pierre's habitual offences—but by damn you can rest assured they will report on an accident that results in a death, including pictures.
I know why law enforcement is quiet, I get that, alright. I don't agree with it, but the cops are afraid of the judges.
Lots of questions, no answers.