A Billings judge gave a man a deferred sentence Tuesday for endangering his son by driving drunk on railroad tracks in July 2012.
District Judge Russell C. Fagg gave Beau Gray Cantwell, 33, a three-year deferred sentence for a count of felony criminal endangerment. Cantwell must complete impaired driving court.
If he meets the requirements of the sentence, the felony charge will be removed from his permanent record in three years.
As recommended in a plea agreement, the judge dismissed a misdemeanor DUI and gave Cantwell a sentence of six months in jail, with all time suspended, and a $300 fine for a third drunken driving charge.
Noting that Cantwell picked up a misdemeanor DUI conviction while this case was pending, Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Ingrid Rosenquist argued for a suspended sentence, which would have kept the felony on his record.
“Six days after pleading guilty to this (he) picks up another DUI,” she said.
Cantwell’s attorney, Penelope Strong, argued that her client pleaded guilty in this case and immediately took responsibility for and resolved the second DUI.
According to court records, police found Cantwell with his vehicle stuck on the railroad tracks near the intersection of Montana Avenue and North 30th Street on July 26, 2012, at about 2:30 p.m. Cantwell’s then 9-year-old son was in the vehicle.
A blood test later revealed Cantwell had a blood alcohol level of 0.139 percent, above the state legal limit of 0.08 percent, court records state.
After presenting the judge with a letter of apology, Cantwell said he has been attending sobriety meetings and that his drinking problem began because of relationship difficulties in his life.
“I’ve made a few mistakes in the last few years, and I’m very aware of them …. I’m just trying to make this as good a situation as possible,” he said.
Fagg warned Cantwell that if he doesn’t meet the requirements of the deferred sentence, it could be revoked.
“Let’s use this to your advantage,” Fagg said. “No more drinking.”