Carter finds woman guilty of DWI on ATV

Summer Loberg. Ozark County Jail booking photo.

A Cedar Creek woman who attempted to flee from an Ozark County Sheriff’s Deputy in March 2017 while driving a four wheeler with a 30 pack of beer strapped to the front rack was found guilty of driving while intoxicated, aggravated offender, during a court trial Oct. 30 before Circuit Judge Craig Carter. 

Summer Loberg, 35, was represented by defense attorney James Burke James of Springfield. The state was represented by Ozark County Prosecuting Attorney John Garrabrant. 

Carter ordered the Board of Probation and Parole to prepare a sentencing advisory report, a document that includes information about the offender, the offender’s risk of re-offending, treatment programs and supervision options available in the community and in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2019. Loberg remains free on bond until that date. 

According to a press release, Ozark County Deputy Curtis Dobbs testified that while he was observing traffic on March 4, 2017, he saw Loberg, driving a red ATV, pass by his patrol vehicle at a high rate of speed. Dobbs reportedly followed the ATV with his emergency lights and siren on, but Loberg did not immediately pull over. She swerved into the opposite lane of traffic and passed another vehicle while fleeing the officer. 

After traveling about 3/4 mile on the four wheeler, Loberg pulled the ATV to the shoulder of the road and dismounted. Dobbs said the woman appeared to be unsteady on her feet, her breath smelled strongly of intoxicants, her speech was slurred and she seemed confused, according to the news release. Dobbs asked her to complete field sobriety tests, but Loberg reportedly refused. Dobbs said a partially consumed 30 pack of beer was strapped to the front of the four wheeler. 

Loberg was placed under arrest, and Dobbs said she then admitted to drinking. She was taken to the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department, and a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper asked the woman to submit a sample of her breath to be tested to determine if she was under the influence of anything while driving. Loberg refused that test as well. 

Part of Dobbs’ contact with Loberg was recorded, and the video was played in court for Carter, according to the press release. 

In the closing arguments, Loberg’s attorney argued that because no field sobriety tests were administered, there was no scientific evidence of her blood alcohol content, and the state failed to prove that Loberg was intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt. Garrabrant argued that any lack of evidence was Loberg’s fault because she refused to submit to the tests requested. Garrabrant argued that the court could infer that she refused because she was intoxicated and knew she would fail the tests. 

The state presented evidence to prove that Loberg had three previous convictions for alcohol-related offenses. She was found guilty of driving with excess blood alcohol in Ozark County in 2005, driving while intoxicated in Taney County in 2009 and driving while intoxicated in Douglas County, also in 2009. The prior convictions elevate the driving while intoxicated charge to a class D felony, which has a range of punishment of up to seven years in prison. 

Ozark County Times

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