Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Steamboat Springs A yearlong suspension of Sheriff Gary Wall's driver's license was set to expire last week.
Wall, who was convicted of driving while ability impaired and two related charges in July, would not confirm Monday whether he is back behind the wheel, and a Colorado Department of Revenue spokesman said state law prohibits him from talking about an individual's driver's license and record.
In his decision and order last year, Department of Revenue hearing officer Art Julian upheld the Colorado State Patrol's yearlong suspension of Wall's license. The State Patrol suspended Wall's license because he refused any tests of his blood alcohol level after being pulled over Oct. 27, 2007, at Walton Creek Road and U.S. Highway 40 for failing to dim his headlights.
Wall appealed the suspension of his driving privileges, arguing state troopers were not justified in requesting the tests. Julian, however, wrote that he found troopers' testimony more credible than testimony delivered on Wall's behalf. Wall appealed Julian's decision, too, but Senior Judge Cecil Wayne Williams reaffirmed it in April.
During his criminal trial in July, Wall testified that he regretted not submitting to any tests. A jury ultimately found him guilty of DWAI, prohibited use of a weapon and failure to dim. Wall was driving his county-owned vehicle the night of Oct. 27 and had a gun in the backseat of the car. It is illegal to possess a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.
In October, Williams sentenced Wall to a year of unsupervised probation, 36 hours of community service and 12 hours of alcohol education and therapy.
The judge also ordered the sheriff to pay fines and fees totaling $816. According to court documents, Wall completed his alcohol education and therapy Nov. 16.
In September, Williams denied a motion filed by Wall's attorney, Ron Smith, requesting a new trial. The basis for the motion was Smith's argument that the jury in Wall's criminal trial rendered an inconsistent verdict. The jury found Wall guilty of the lesser charge of DWAI rather than driving under the influence but also found him guilty of prohibited use of a weapon for possessing a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.
Wall and Smith have not made any similar motions for a new trial since a defense investigator for Wall submitted documents of a post-conviction interview with Kim McCullar, who stated she was at the nearby Comfort Inn when Wall was pulled over and overhead a man on the hotel lobby phone say, "Hey, Doug, we got him. He is being loaded into a State Patrol car as we speak. It worked." Wall's defense included claims that he was being set up for DUI.
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