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Man allegedly drives wrong way on I-90 while intoxicated for 27 miles between Manhattan and Cardwell

Posted at 2:26 PM, Mar 25, 2024

BOZEMAN — A Belgrade man is facing felony charges after allegedly driving on Interstate 90 in the wrong direction for nearly 30 miles while intoxicated early on Sunday morning, March 24, 2024.

Michael Shawn Waters, 56, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday where he was arraigned on three counts of criminal endangerment. His bail was set at $30,000.

Court documents say a deputy with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office responded around 2:55 a.m. on Sunday to the report of a wrong-way driver traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-90 just east of mile marker 288 in Manhattan. A second report placed the driver west of mile marker 284.

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The deputy said he located the vehicle west of Three Forks around mile marker 270. He reportedly drove with emergency lights and sirens activated in parallel with Waters' vehicle, but Waters did not slow down or yield. The deputy estimated Waters to be driving approximately 60 miles per hour.

According to court documents, the deputy drove further west ahead of Waters and was able to deflate Waters' two front tires using stop sticks around mile marker 261, just east of Cardwell. The deputy said Waters was out of his car looking at the front tires when the deputy approached him.

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The deputy detained Waters in handcuffs and said he observed an open alcoholic beverage in Waters' cup holder. Waters allegedly had slow, delayed speech and unsteady balance with the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center.

A Sergeant with the Sheriff's Office took statements from the people who reported Waters as he was being transported to the detention center. The first driver said he was traveling with a passenger when he observed the vehicle driving the wrong way at mile marker 288; the driver had to swerve to avoid a head-on collision.

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The second person to report Waters said she observed his vehicle traveling westbound on I-90E just west of mile marker 284. The reporting deputy said he observed Waters pass multiple other vehicles that did not call 911. Waters was arrested on three counts of criminal endangerment, one for each person in the reports by the two witnesses.

At the detention center, Waters allegedly failed field sobriety tests and gave a breath sample that showed his blood alcohol level to be .214, more than twice the legal limit of .08.