Man admits charges in DUI ditch-leap crash

2013-10-15T15:10:00Z 2013-10-15T21:34:04Z Man admits charges in DUI ditch-leap crashGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

A 23-year-old man admitted Tuesday that he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when he crashed his car into a ditch near Laurel.

Daniel Howard Lucas appeared before Yellowstone County District Judge Russell Fagg and pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment and misdemeanor counts of DUI and possessing drug paraphernalia.   

A plea agreement states prosecutors and Lucas' public defender will request a three-year deferred sentence and completion of the Impaired Driver treatment court program.

The agreement also states that prosecutors will drop a second felony charge of tampering. 

Lucas is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 3.

A Montana Highway Patrol trooper found Lucas at 8:30 p.m. May 21 in a car in a ditch near 64th Street West and Laurel Airport Road. 

Lucas told the trooper he was trying to jump the ditch in his car and admitted to drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking pain medication and anti-anxiety pills before the crash. 

The trooper found a glass pipe in the car, and prosecutors said Lucas dumped a plastic baggie into the toilet at the county jail after his arrest.

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