A Hailey man has been sentenced to jail time followed by three years of probation after pleading guilty this week to a felony driving under the influence offense that occurred in September.
Justin James Rumpeltes, 48, was sentenced to 27 days in jail on Feb. 8 in Blaine County’s 5th District Court. He pleaded guilty on Nov. 30, in exchange for the dismissal of a misdemeanor charge of possession of an open contain of alcohol.
During his sentencing hearing earlier this week, Rumpeltes recognized that he endangered the lives of others and himself when he got behind the wheel, intoxicated, on Sept. 12.
According to a probable cause for arrest affidavit written by Blaine County Sheriff’s Deputy Garret Ruckle, Rumpeltes was pulled over for failure to maintain his lane while driving on state Highway 75 near Serenade Lane in Ketchum. Rumpeltes refused to give a breath sample to check for alcohol in his system, according to the affidavit, and law enforcement was forced to obtain a warrant to extract Rumpeltes blood to test for alcohol in his system at the time of arrest.
Rumpeltes had two prior DUI convictions, one in 2014 and a second in 2017, making this third DUI a felony offense.
Sober for five months already, according to his attorney, Rumpeltes told the court during this sentencing hearing that he was wrong for believing “he could manage drinking on his own terms,” and that this experience has “taught him to make sobriety his priority,” according to court minutes from the sentencing hearing.
Rumpletes must begin serving his jailtime beginning in April, according to court records. In addition, Rumpeltes was ordered to pay $3,000 in fines.