Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fort Hall man faces felony DUI charge

Idaho court records show 3 prior drunk-driving convictions

Express Staff Writer

James Tyler

A 50-year-old Fort Hall man pleaded not guilty to felony drunk driving last week in Blaine County 5th District Court.

At arraignment on Nov. 21, a March 7 jury trial was set for James Tyler, who remains incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $25,000 bond.

Judge Robert J. Elgee said Tyler is charged with a "second felony DUI within 15 years," a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. According to Idaho court records, Tyler has previously been imprisoned for felony drunk driving.

Records show that Tyler was sentenced to five years in prison on a 2006 Bannock County DUI conviction, with three years to be served before parole eligibility. Records further show that Tyler also has misdemeanor DUI convictions in Bannock County in 2004 and 2005.

Tyler's arrest in Blaine County occurred on July 9 on state Highway 75 north of Ketchum near the Sawtooth National Recreation Area visitor center.

Blaine County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Ward wrote in a probable-cause affidavit that he pulled Tyler over for speeding, that Tyler smelled of alcohol and that he was placed under arrest after he failed three field sobriety tests.

Tyler is also charged with the misdemeanor crime of driving with an open container of alcohol.

He is represented by the Roark Law Firm under the firm's public defender contract with Blaine County.

Terry Smith:

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