Chad Alexander Basaites

Chad Alexander Basaites appears via video Monday in Gallatin County Justice Court.

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A Bozeman man is accused of hitting and killing a cyclist with his car over the weekend after having “three or four drinks” at a Christmas party.

Chad Alexander Basaites, 27, is charged with felony vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol in the death of Alexa Jane Dzintars. He appeared via video Monday in Gallatin County Justice Court Monday before Judge Bryan Adams.

His bail was set at $50,000.

On Saturday around 10:30 p.m., Basaites reported to Bozeman police that he hit Dzintars while she was biking near the intersection of Rawhide Ridge and 19th Avenue, according to charging documents. A nearby officer responded and began performing CPR, although Dzintars was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.

Basaites said he was drinking at a company Christmas party before the incident, according to court documents. He said he was driving up to 10 mph over the speed limit when he hit Dzintars, whom Basaites said appeared in his driving lane with no lights on her bike.

An officer performed a sobriety test on Basaites and determined that he was under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and taken to the Gallatin County jail.

Officers received a warrant to take a blood sample from Basaites. Police said in charging documents that Basaites’ holding cell smelled of alcohol and that he told the officer that the cyclist didn’t have lighting or reflectors on her bike.

An officer went to the crash scene and saw evidence that Dzintars was riding her bike to the right of a “very visible fog line” when Basaites hit her, according to court documents. The officer also noted that where Dzintars hit the car indicated that Basaites was straddling the fog line.

In court on Monday, Todd Whipple, Basaites’ attorney, asked that bail be set at $5,000. Upon his release, Whipple said, Basaites would go to Colorado for counseling and to be with his family.

If convicted, Basaites could face up to a $50,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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