A Boulder Police Department officer has resigned and pleaded guilty to DUI charges. This is the second time this year for Boulder. Last time it was a detective. This time, Boulder DUI Enforcement officer Elizabeth Ward was stopped by officers from nearby Thornton Colorado. She has resigned.
In December, Colorado’s “The Daily Camera” reported an off duty police officer in Thornton observed erratic driving and followed the vehicle. Elizabeth Ward, then Boulder’s only DUI Officer, stopped her on her own. When a duty cop approached and asked her why she had stopped on the side of the road, Ms. Ward made things very easy for the officer by simply saying “I’m drunk.”
DUI officers are highly trained at detecting even subtle hints of impaired driving. Ms. Ward was a DUI officer. Ms. Ward was driving herself. Ms. Ward stopped her car and admitted that she “was drunk”.
How drunk is drunk to a DUI officer who has been drinking and driving? For Ms. Ward, “I’m Drunk” referred to blood alcohol levels in excess of 3 times the legal limit. She blew a BAC of 0.288% according to reports (the legal limit at the time was 0.08%).
According to The Denver Post, Ms. Ward pled guilty to one count of DUI, was sentenced to 10 days of electronic home monitoring, one year of probation, and assigned fines totaling $400 with 24 hours of community service.
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According to Colorado’s DUI statutes, things could have been much worse for Ms. Ward.For levels over 0.20% BAC the community service is 60-120 days. She received 24 hours (1 day). That was less than half the minimum designated for blood alcohol levels of 0.08% or less (48 to 96 hours).
The fines were also relatively low. The $400 total fines assigned to Ms. Ward could have been, by Colorado statute, up to $1500. In fact, for BAC at 0.08%, the fines range from $600-$1000.
The statute also allows for first time offenders to be given 5 to 365 days in jail.
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