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Sheriff's office seeks citation for bartender after man's death

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 11:12:41 AM MST
Updated On: Jan 03 2013 09:35:56 AM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Almost three months after Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputies found the body of a missing man, lab tests say he was drunk when he left a Frenchtown bar.

NBC Montana told you last September when deputies found 27-year-old Joshua Carter's body, after he'd been missing for about 10 days.

Carter rolled his truck off the road and died after leaving the Frenchtown Club. Now the Sheriff's Office tells us Carter's alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

"We were of waiting to see what the toxicology reports came back as because it helps tell the story about what happened," said the Sheriff’s Department’s Public Information Officer Jason Johnson.

Now sheriff's officials are asking the Missoula County Attorney’s Office to file criminal charges against the bartender who served Carter the night he died. They say he was over served, and the bartender should be held responsible, with a misdemeanor charge for serving and intoxicated person.

“Bars are in the business of selling alcohol, and that's what they do, and we certainly understand that,” said Johnson. “But we definitely want to send a message and continue to fight over service.”

The County Attorney's Office is reviewing the complaint. Johnson said his office expects charges to be filed by early next week.

NBC Montana dug deeper and found out the Frenchtown Club is already in trouble before Carter's toxicology report was released. The Department of Revenue issued a ‘Notice of Revocation of License’ late last month after a Department of Justice investigation report.

The letter doesn't go into specifics, but in it department officials concludes that they believe the bar’s past record shows it is unlikely to operate in compliance with state and local liquor laws.

Investigators also reportedly found that the bar violated its lease agreement three times in the past three years.

The letter notes the owner has 23 days to request a hearing and fight to keep the bar’s liquor license.

To read the full Revocation of License and Opportunity for Hearing from the Department of Revenue click here.