Off-duty Routt County Sheriff's Office deputy arrested on suspicion of DUI following Milner crash


— An off-duty Routt County Sheriff's Office patrol deputy was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after he crashed his vehicle in Milner.

Undersheriff Ray Birch said Deputy Jesse Lee McAvoy was driving alone west on U.S. Highway 40 at about 4:20 a.m. when his personal vehicle hit a patch of ice and crashed in a snowbank near mile marker 121.

McAvoy was not injured in the crash, and there was no property damage.

The Colorado State Patrol investigated the crash and arrested McAvoy on suspicion of DUI, careless driving and possessing a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.

He was taken to the Routt County Jail and released from custody to Birch after McAvoy was issued a summons to appear in court for the three misdemeanors charges.

Birch said a breath test showed McAvoy had a blood alcohol content level of 0.093. The legal limit is 0.08.

The Sheriff's Office has placed McAvoy on paid leave pending an administrative investigation. Birch said McAvoy has been with the Sheriff's Office for about three years.

State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott, who helped investigate the crash, said there are a number of factors that determine whether someone arrested on suspicion of DUI is booked into jail, released to a sober party or taken to detox, and the decision is at the discretion of the arresting agency.

Elliott said the primary reason the State Patrol elected not to book McAvoy into jail following his arrest was to "spare (the deputy) the embarrassment of going through the booking process with his co-workers."

He said the State Patrol also trusted McAvoy to make court appearances and face the charges.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email


bill schurman 2 years, 7 months ago

Paid leave ?? Does he still have a gun ?? Did he stay at the RCSO until he sobered up ?? Thought that this paper was going to start "investigative" reporting>


Scott Wedel 2 years, 7 months ago

He was taken to the Routt County Jail and released from custody to [Undersheriff Ray] Birch

Well, that is about as direct a conflict of interest as can be created. It should trigger an automatic external investigation whenever top management at a law enforcement agency asks to have someone released to their custody when the investigation is still active.

How often has Undersheriff Ray Birch had suspects released to his custody?

Anyone got pictures of the vehicle to verify the "no damage" claim? Hard to believe someone traveling on hwy 40 crashed into a snowbank without causing any damage even as small as a scratch or dent. I believe if there were damages, even to his own vehicle, then that could lead to additional, more severe charges.

How many locals have been cited for causing damage when it was just another dent on an old beater?


rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

The legal limit is .05 not .08 and .093 definitely qualifies.


bill schurman 2 years, 6 months ago

NO ONE (except a cop) is simply released on a summons for a DUI without being booked. Surprised that the CSP didn't just drive this ("alleged") miscreant home and save the under sheriff the trouble. The "thin blue line" is alive and well in Routt County.


Scott Wedel 2 years, 6 months ago

"spare (the deputy) the embarrassment of going through the booking process with his co-workers."

Well, isn't that special! Maybe they should offer that to most locals. Considering it will be very hard for him to do his job without a driver's license or being able to carry a gun then it is hard to see how he keeps his job. So why are they so sure that he won't leave? A whole lot of other people that have been booked have better reasons to stay and show up in court.

As for ignoring the incident and driving him home, how do know that hasn't happened before? But maybe this time having an intoxicated driver on hwy 40 losing control was just too much for them to ignore.


rhys jones 2 years, 6 months ago

Scott -- Of course it's happened before; it happens all the time. In a rare moment of candor, a cop on late shift once told me "The only drunks on the road at 5 AM are cops." It's an exclusive club, and your "international credit card" (badge) will get you out of most scrapes, but the CSP just couldn't ignore it on this occasion. Maybe accidents cancel the privelege. Even failure to dim. I suppose it varies by case.


bill schurman 2 years, 6 months ago

The real reason that he wasn't booked is that then he would have an arrest record for DUI which by law cannot be expunged , EVEN were he to be acquitted of DUI or DWAI. The CSP knew what they were doing, just helping "one of their own".


rhys jones 2 years, 6 months ago

Bill -- It DOES say that he was issued a citation for DUI, just not "booked" into jail -- isn't that the same as being "booked"? Is it not now a matter of record?


bill schurman 2 years, 6 months ago


If booked in, his photo and prints are sent into the FBI and CBI, thus, an arrest record for DUI. It is this arrest record for DUI that can never be expunged pursuant to Colorado law. Now the FBI and CBI know nothing about this matter, thanks to his law "enforcement" buddies. A summons is merely an Order to get the person into Court, and nothing more.



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