A former mental-health counselor in Blaine County has been released from jail and placed on probation for three years for a felony conviction of driving while intoxicated and for a probation violation for an earlier felony conviction of violating a no-contact order regarding his ex-wife.
Pierre John Saviers, 61, was also sentenced to 196 days in jail, but he had already served that time, having been incarcerated in the Blaine County jail since his arrest in January.
Sentence was pronounced Monday in Blaine County 5th District Court by Judge Robert J. Elgee, who told the defendant that he is facing a possible prison sentence if he is convicted again of driving under the influence.
“Don’t drink, and you’re probably OK,” Elgee told the defendant. “But if you drink alcohol, I want you in jail. There’s a world of difference in drinking and the action of getting behind a wheel. If you drink, that is an evil to yourself, but if you drink and drive, that is a tremendous evil to society.”
“I can’t drink ever again or I’ll drink myself to death. It comes down to me and alcohol, and not using alcohol.”
Pierre John Saviers
Defense attorney Michael Kraynick said Saviers’ situation is also complicated by mental-health issues. Saviers acknowledged that he suffers from “agitated depression,” which is a condition in which depression can lead to irritability, anger and agitation rather than lethargy.
“I’ve had it my whole life,” Saviers told the judge.
As a condition of probation, Elgee ordered that Saviers continue counseling with a mental-health professional, that he stay on his prescribed medication and that he attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at least three times a week for the duration of his probation.
Elgee further suspended Saviers’ driver’s license for 18 months and ordered that his vehicle be equipped with an interlock device until his probation ends.
Saviers pleaded guilty to felony DUI in April.
He was charged with a felony when arrested on Jan. 14 because of two previous misdemeanor DUI convictions in Blaine County, the first in 2010 and the second in 2011.
At the time of his third arrest, Saviers was on probation for a 2012 felony conviction for violation of a no-contact order. That crime was charged as a felony because of two prior misdemeanor convictions against Saviers. Both occurred in 2011.
According to a Hailey police report, Saviers third DUI arrest occurred after he had driven to the Blaine County court building in an intoxicated state, ostensibly looking for his attorney.
At Monday’s hearing, Fredback said Saviers arrived at court in a “drunken stupor” and went into a “rage” when confronted by police.
“He tried to pick a fight; he’s threatening officers; ultimately, he was talked down and placed in a patrol car,” Fredback said.
Fredback noted that prior to the incident that Saviers was apparently abiding by the conditions of his earlier probation.
“For quite a while he was doing well on probation,” Fredback said. “Then at the beginning of the year, he started drinking, holed up in his apartment and went off the grid.”
Kraynick told the court that Saviers has numerous friends and a support group that will help him avoid alcohol and stay out of trouble with the law.
“He realizes over these many months in jail that he needs to reconnect to life and to the community,” Kraynick said.
Saviers acknowledged that alcoholism has been a problem in his life.
“I can’t drink ever again or I’ll drink myself to death,” Saviers said. “It comes down to me and alcohol, and not using alcohol.”