DUIs top list of New Year’s offenses

Law enforcement officials report no serious incidents, injuries during holiday night


— Eleven people were booked into the Routt County Jail in the early hours of 2010. Of those arrests, seven were for driving under the influence.

Steamboat Springs Police De­­partment officer JD Paul said calls came in steadily throughout New Year’s Eve on Thurs­day and early Friday but that no major injuries or accidents were reported.

Paul said three of the arrests for driving under the influence were people who were found passed out in their cars with the engines running. Two were in the parking lot in Village Inn Court, and one was at the Depot Art Center on 13th Street.

Paul said a person could be arrested on DUI charges if he or she is in physical control of the car, even if the car isn’t moving.

Police also had reports of two fights during the night. The first call came at 11:45 p.m. New Year’s Eve, when police were called to a report of a fight in the first block of Seventh Street. Officers booked 32-year-old Fort Collins man Timothy Michael Sharkey into jail just after midnight on suspicion of disorderly conduct. No injuries were reported from the fight.

Early Friday, police got a report of a fight that happened during the night in Dream Island Plaza. Paul said a woman at a party reportedly punched another one and pulled her hair during an argument. Officers found and arrested 24-year-old Steamboat Springs resident Melissa Danielle Wil­liams on suspicion of third-degree assault.

Paul said the victim had small scratches on her face and hair missing.

Police had one officer working on a DUI patrol, but otherwise used normal staffing during the night, Paul said.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said across the region, the night was quiet apart from the DUI arrests. Troopers had an increased presence in the area but did not set up checkpoints. There were no injury accidents in Routt County and no reported accidents that could be linked to alcohol.

Steamboat Springs Fire Res­cue Lt. Travis Wilkinson said emergency responders had three medical calls from midnight to 3 a.m. Friday. All three involved alcohol, he said, but none were life threatening.


honestabe 6 years, 7 months ago

i think that it is wrong to charge someone sleeping in their car with DUI. It only tells people too drunk that it is better to drive home than safely waiting/sleeping in their car. if given the choice of sleeping out in the cold, or driving home drunk, driving home drunk looks safer. They drunkenly but consciously made the decision not to drive, and should be forgiven for not wanting to freeze to death while sleeping off the buzz. if asleep, they obviously are not "in control" of the vehicle. but, revenues have to be raised...


runnerbikerdriver44 6 years, 7 months ago

honestabe-The problem is the person had the keys in the ignition and turned on the car, thus making them in control of the vehicle. I've been told before that if you are within 3 feet of your car while intoxicated, with keys in hand, you can be charged as well. Whether or not that is true, it just tells you to be cautious, and maybe if you are too drunk to drive home, but want to sleep it off, leave the keys somewhere else, like on a back tire, where they aren't easily accessible. Or pay the unreasonable $40 to catch a cab home and avoid the $10K the city is more than happy to collect.


dave reynolds 6 years, 6 months ago

forty dollars for a taxi..don't they still do tipsy taxi and the last time i checked it was 2 dollar a person and 2 dollar a mile still 40 dollar better than what a dui will cost you in the short term and long term..what about the city bus i believe it runs till 2 o clock..honestable NOTHING is safe about driving drunk..idiot


housepoor 6 years, 6 months ago

typsy taxi is gone and an average wait for a cab on a normal fri-sat is 45 min easy, i'm sure it's couple hours on nye


dave reynolds 6 years, 6 months ago

thanks for the input on tipsy taxi..i drove for alpine for a couple of years and remember what a zoo fri and sat were..still a 45 min wait is better than putting yourself and others at risk driving drunk


honestabe 6 years, 6 months ago

paddlefisher, what risk are you putting yourself and others in by sleeping in the car with the heater on? do you really want us to believe the wait on new years is only 45 minutes? you put your credibility at risk with that one, you did work for them didnt you


dave reynolds 6 years, 6 months ago

if you happened on a vechile running would you asume they were drunk from the night before and just sleeping it off..if i were a police officer i would assume they were drunk and PASSED OUT behind the wheel..bro take the taxi or the bus..dont play the odds cause i did and got busted


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