Boulder DUI Enforcement Officer Arrested for DUI
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said he is very concerned after a second member of his department was accused of drunk driving, as the Associated Press reports in an article appearing on ColoradoConnection.com. According to the AP account, police responded to a report of a drunk driver on Interstate 25 on Tuesday, and that turned out to be Boulder DUI Enforcement Officer Elizabeth Ward. Ward told police she was drunk and they arrested her, AP writes.
Police reports say that Ward was driving northbound on I-25 at around 2:15 a.m., and that an off-duty Arvada police officer reported she was weaving between lanes and driving 40 mph in a 65 mph zone. The officer called in to report her and continue to follow her. By the time an off-duty Thornton officer reached her, she had pulled off the side of the road on her own, according to police, as Mitchell Byars writes for ColoradoDaily.com. Byars writes that Ward was off-duty at the time.
When asked why she had pulled over, Ward said, ‘I’m drunk,’ and the officer noted an odor of alcohol and that Ward’s speech was slurred and her eyes were bloodshot, according to the report. When she exited the car to perform a roadside sobriety test, officers noted she had a hard time standing up and eventually declined to perform the maneuvers.
Thornton police took a sample of Ward’s blood and issued her a summons on suspicion of weaving and DUI. She was then released into the custody of a Boulder police sergeant after being booked into jail, according to the report.
Ward’s arrest follows that of Detective Scott Morris less than a month ago, of the Boulder County Sheriff’s office, AP notes.
Byars reports that Beckner confirmed the arrest on Thursday, and goes on to write:
While all officers are tasked with enforcing DUI laws, Beckner said the department assigns certain officers to specialize in drunken-driving enforcement. The number of officers tasked with DUI work can fluctuate depending on the department’s resources, Beckner said. […]
Both Ward, who has been with the department since 2007, and Morris, on the force since 2000, are on paid administrative leave.
Once the police have completed an internal investigation, a review board will decide whether to recommend discipline, Byars writes. Any discipline would have to be approved by Beckner, and could range from verbal reprimand to termination.