Hayden officer makes druggeed-driving arrest
The Hayden Police Department is getting high on busting possible drug-users that is.
Over the Labor Day weekend, Officer Darin Falk arrested three people on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, a charge that has not been used very often by Hayden police in the past. Chief Jody Lenahan credited a recent “drug recognition” course that local officers took from specially trained Colorado State Patrol drug recognition experts.
“I think it’s great,” Chief Jody Lenahan said of his officer’s vigilance. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. We don’t want them driving through Hayden.”
In the drugged-driving training course, State Patrol drug recognition experts explained some of the signs that officers should look for when a person is driving erratically but does not match the traits of a typical drunk driver.
“They said that, a lot of the time, people get let go because they don’t seem drunk, but they could be under the influence of drugs,” Lenahan said.
Falk apparently took the training course to heart and put it to use over the long holiday weekend.
Late Friday night, Sept. 3, Falk stopped a car for speeding on U.S. Highway 40 by Meadow Village trailer park. Noticing some of the signs of possible drugged driving, Falk contacted State Patrol Cpl. Brian Bagely, a designated drug recognition expert, for assistance with the traffic stop.
The driver, 19-year-old Stewart Smith of Hayden, ended up being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs (also known as DUID).
On Sept. 5, Falk stopped another man for his loud car stereo and again noticed possible indications of drug use. After receiving the driver’s consent to search the car, Falk and Trooper Brett Hilling, another designated drug recognition expert, found a substance believed to be methamphetamines.
Lenahan said he did not know what amount of the suspected drug was found, or where it was found in the car.
The substance was positively identified in a field test as methamphetamines.
The driver, Trevor Barlean, 21, of Platteville, was arrested on suspicion of DUID, as well as possession and use of methamphetamines.
Another man went to jail for DUID on Sept. 1 after being pulled over for speeding. Working with Bagely again, Falk ended up arresting Ryan Coffey of Craig on suspicion of DUID, speeding and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The State Patrol, which makes the majority of DUID arrests in Routt County, has seen the number of DUID arrests almost double in the last two years, from 8 percent of its total “under the influence” arrests to 15 percent in the year period from March 1998 to March 1999, Sgt. Duane Bradley said.
For this week’s Hometown Hero, the Craig Press is pleased to honor Steve Walls.