Mar 042012
Authors: Andrew Carrera

A 19 year-old female who police said was at fault for a two-car collision Sunday afternoon has been charged with a DUI by Fort Collins City Police Services and was confirmed to be a CSU student by university public relations.

As a student facing criminal allegations, Bradleigh Vähl, a freshman zoology major could be dealt penalties by not only the city’s courts, but also the university.

“If it’s known that it’s a CSU student involved (in an alleged crime), we’ll get documents submitted to us,” said Craig Chesson, director of CSU’s Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.

The traffic collision for which Vähl was allegedly at fault for took place at the intersection of Shields Street and Plum Street on Sunday at around 12:45 p.m. She was driving southbound on Shields, ran a red light, and crashed into a silver Volvo, sending her car in the air and landing on its passenger side.

The driver of the Volvo, a 19 year-old female who is also a CSU student, was sent to Poudre Valley Hospital for suspected minor injuries. Later reports confirm, however, that she and Vähl sustained no wounds.

After the incident, police said Vähl left her vehicle, and hid her marijuana pipe and her marijuana at a nearby drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility called Turning Point.

“She said she needed to use the restroom and hid the stuff in the trash barrel,” said FCPS Sgt. Kevin Cronin.

Police say Vähl was arrested at the scene and later charged with a DUI.

Once the university’s justice system receives allegations of a student’s misconduct on or off campus, it launches its own investigation into whether the individual violated CSU’s code of conduct.

“Students are able to give their side,” Chesson said.

Those found guilty of breaching the standard are sanctioned accordingly, which could include being assigned to a mentorship program, or outright suspension depending on the severity of the offense. Officials said they usually lean toward mandating educational sanctions rather than punitive disciplinary ones.

“There’s a whole list of things that we try to do to support students when they allegedly violate policy,” Chesson said.

Officials at CRSCS stressed that they couldn’t speak about any student’s confidential disciplinary record, including Vähl’s. But they could, however, comment on what typically ends up happening when a student with DUI charges goes through their conduct process.

“My sense is that there would be a number of educational sanctions regarding drugs and alcohol,” said Jody Donavan, CSU’s dean of students. “There would be some sort of a sanction regarding the student status at the university.”

The individual would also receive ongoing substance abuse support.

Donavan added that these penalties could still be assigned even if the student’s government court hearing clears him or her of all charges.

“We don’t have to wait for any kind of conviction, because the court process tends to be a little bit slower than the student conduct process,” Donovan said.

Senior reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at

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