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The vice-secretary of the Crow Tribe has pleaded guilty to driving drunk in Bozeman in December.

Shawn Ellis Backbone was sentenced last month in Bozeman Municipal Court to a six-month suspended jail sentence for a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol. He was also fined $885 and ordered to complete 50 hours of community service.

On Dec. 15, Bozeman Police officers were dispatched to a reported fight at a residential address on North Wallace Avenue, according to the citation. An officer on his way learned that the suspects had left in a pickup, which he then found as it pulled into the Super 8 Motel.

The officer who issued the citation stated that he walked up to the truck to find Backbone sitting in the driver’s seat. Backbone allegedly appeared drunk and had an open bottle of Michelob Ultra in the center console.

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Backbone admitted to being “pretty buzzed,” was unsteady on his feet and told the officer, “I can’t drive,” the complaint states. He refused a breath alcohol test and some field sobriety tests.

Attempts to reach Backbone on his cellphone Tuesday were unsuccessful. A phone number listed under his name in the tribal directory was not in service.

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Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.