Drunk Republican Weasles Way Out of DUI

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Drunk Republican Weasles Way Out of DUI

Postby Todd » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:50 pm

Colorado lawmaker avoids possible DUI thanks to state law

By Yesenia Robles
The Denver Post

A Grand Junction-area lawmaker has been suspended from her committee chairmanship after a traffic stop in which she avoided a possible DUI charge thanks to the state constitution.

House Republicans announced late Friday that state Rep. Laura Bradford of Collbran was suspended for "reasons related to a traffic citation."

According to Denver police, Bradford was pulled over Wednesday night on suspicion of driving under the influence, but used legislative immunity to get away with a minor traffic ticket.

Sonny Jackson, spokesman for Denver Police Department, said Bradford was pulled over in the Capitol Hill area just after 10 p.m. Wednesday when an officer saw her making an illegal turn.

The officer smelled alcohol on Bradford's breath, and she admitted to having been drinking, Jackson said. After Bradford failed some roadside sobriety tests, the officer called a supervisor for advice on the situation.

It was then determined, as Bradford pointed out to police, that she could not be arrested because of Article Five, Section 16 of the state constitution, which says during the legislative session, lawmakers cannot be arrested while attending sessions, or while traveling to or from related events. The constitution only makes exceptions for cases of treason or felonies.

"Her car was parked. She took a cab home and was ticketed for the illegal lane change," Jackson said.

Bradford released a statement to The Post addressing her suspension, and saying she looked forward to continuing her work. "I understand the speaker's decision, and I look forward to having the facts brought to light," Bradford said.

KDVR-TV (Fox 31) reported she gave them a statement denying she "invoked immunity."

The section of the constitution granting lawmakers immunity was last amended in 1975, and was intended to protect lawmakers from intimidation from other branches of government or other political parties, according to online information from the Legislative Legal Services agency.

Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, will serve as chairwoman of the Local Government Committee, with Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, as the committee's vice chair, the House Republicans said in a statement.

Source: www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_1983 ... z1kli8D6pj
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