Monday, December 05, 2022

Admitted drunk driver sent to state treatment program

Daily Inter Lake | November 23, 2022 12:00 AM

The Kalispell man arrested for driving under the influence and allegedly attacking relatives during an impromptu intervention on the same day was sentenced to the state’s substance abuse program earlier this month.

Donald Douglas Houtonen, 35, had pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence, fourth of subsequent offense, on Sept. 26. Prosecutors initially also charged him with felony strangulation of a partner or family member and misdemeanor partner or family member assault following his July 29 arrest.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence that included placement in the Warm Springs Addiction, Treatment and Change Program to be followed by a three year suspended sentence and credit for time served. They also dismissed the strangulation and assault charges.

Judge Heidi Ulbricht stuck to the terms of the deal during Houtonen’s Nov. 10 sentencing, including granting him 80 days credit for time already spent behind bars.

Police officers arrested Houtonen after catching him driving drunk along First Avenue West in Kalispell, according to court documents. Authorities were on the lookout for the 35-year-old after investigating an alleged disturbance in a Meadow Vista Loop home earlier in the day.

According to court documents, members of Houtonen’s family told authorities they confronted him about his drinking after he arrived at the house drunk. The confrontation grew violent and led to injuries, court documents said.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or

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