On December 29, 20-year-old CSU sophomore Lucas Boyd found himself spending the night in a Grand Junction jail.
Meeting some old friends and going to a party, Boyd’s evening started typically.
As the party wound down, Boyd realized that if he stayed, he would have to sleep on the floor because everyone else had taken the beds and couches.
“I didn’t want to stay there and everyone that was driving had already left,” Boyd said. “I wasn’t too bad and I thought I was OK to drive. I had done it before. I had between four and six beers over a few hours and I didn’t feel drunk.”
Unfortunately, Boyd was not as lucky as he had been in the past.
Shortly after leaving his friend’s house, Boyd was pulled over. The officer told Boyd he had been speeding.
“He said he could smell alcohol, and he asked if I had been drinking,” Boyd said. “I told him that I drank a couple of beers, but he thought it smelled like more than a couple of beers.”
Boyd said the officer gave him the choice of taking a roadside sobriety test or immediately losing his license for one year.
He chose to take the roadside test.
The test included: checking the dilation of his eyes with a flash light, walking heel-to-toe down a line and then turning around and doing it again, standing on one foot with arms out and counting to thirty out loud and saying the alphabet from A to M.
“I didn’t think any of it was hard, but the officer said I failed,” Boyd said.
The officer arrested Boyd and gave him the option of a taking a breathalyzer or blood test. He chose the blood test and was taken to the hospital.
Boyd later learned that the blood test revealed he had a blood alcohol level of .15; the legal limit for those over 21 in Colorado is .10.
After leaving the hospital, Boyd was taken to jail and booked for DUI (driving under the influence). Because his parents were out of town, Boyd spent the night in jail. At 10:30 the next morning, he paid $130 and was released.
On January 30, Boyd returned to Grand Junction to appear before a judge. Working with the District Attorney, Boyd’s charges were lowered to DWAI (driving while ability impaired).
“I was lucky; with a DWAI, I was able to get a less strict sentence,” Boyd said.
Obviously, Boyd lost his driver’s licenses. His sentence also included 36 hours of community service, 66 hours of alternative alcohol classes and probation.
As part of his probation, he is required to take random breathalyzers. He must call every morning and see if he must report. If he is told to report, he has until 8:30 p.m. to provide his probation officer with a sample.
Not only does his sentence contain hours of service, but it also came with serious financial penalties as well.
On top of the $130 he paid in bail, he had to pay $400 in court fees and costs. Boyd must also pay $25 for each alcohol class, which will end up costing him approximately $825. He is charged $15 a month to take the breathalyzers.
In the end, Boyd’s DWAI will probably cost him around $1,475.
With all that his DWAI will cost him, Boyd says he has definitely learned his lesson.
“It’s pretty much a big pain in the ass, but I have realized what a big deal this is,” Boyd said. “I didn’t know how serious drinking and driving is until I screwed up. I definitely won’t do it again.” n