Steamboat Springs I was going to let it all go, really I was. I've lived and worked in this community for 25-plus years and know the plusses and minuses of living in a small town. But for some random reason, I decided to enter my name in the search key for the online version of the Steamboat Pilot.
First among the 11 other articles mentioning my name in a positive light was my Sept. 24, 2007, arrest under the suspicion of DUI. Yes, I was pulled over for a defective headlight, and yes I had consumed beer that night. I declined a roadside sobriety test on Lincoln Avenue, and when asked to do a Breathalyzer test, opted instead for what I believed to be a more accurate test - a blood draw.
What I didn't realize at the time, was that a request for a blood draw meant I would be fully processed. Although it would take only five days for my name to appear in the Pilot, it took close to three weeks to get the results of my blood draw, and another three and a half months in the legal system for my case to be resolved.
Just in case anyone was curious, my blood level was low, my police report showed no evidence of impairment and all charges were dropped. As it is the Pilot's policy to report all arrests but not follow up on any of the details, I thought I should do my part to inform the public.
There are always lessons to be learned. I am thankful for all the support I have received from friends in the last few months, and that I have been sheltered from much of the negative "buzz" around my name appearing in the Jail Report. I also want to apologize to anyone I have wrongly judged in the past when their name appeared in the same section of the paper.
I hope no one misunderstands my issue here; it is not with the events that occurred on the night of my arrest. My issue is with the Pilot and their choice to report "under suspicion" arrests, potentially damaging the reputation of individuals in this small town, and then do nothing to report the final outcome. The Jail Report is nothing more than ammunition for small town gossip, and especially with no follow-up on individuals later cleared of all charges, it should be abolished. My husband, Clay, advises me arguing with the policies of the Pilot is like "spitting into the wind."
I really thought I was ready to let it all go, as I'm sure many who have dealt with the embarrassment of having their names appear in the paper have done in the past, but then I thought again. If more of us don't say something, nothing will ever change.