Wall was in county vehicle
Sheriff's Office employee provided ride home after traffic stop
October 31, 2007
Steamboat Springs — Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall was in his county-owned vehicle when he was pulled over and charged with DUI and prohibitive use of a weapon Saturday night.
Colorado State Patrol Capt. Brett Williams said Wall was heading westbound on U.S. Highway 40 near Walton Creek Road when Trooper Melissa Fowler passed him heading in the opposite direction. Williams said Fowler turned around and stopped Wall, who was in his white, unmarked Ford Explorer, because he failed to dim his headlights. State law requires that drivers dim their headlights when approaching vehicles are 500 feet or closer.
“That’s a common stop,” Williams said Wednesday. “That’s not a targeting stop.”
Williams said he couldn’t discuss the interaction between Wall and Trooper Fowler during the traffic stop. He also wouldn’t say at what point Trooper Brett Hilling was called to the scene and his involvement during the traffic stop.
There was a female passenger with Wall, Williams said. He did not know the identity of that person.
A Sheriff’s Office employee provided Wall and the passenger a ride home, Williams said. He didn’t know the identity of that employee or whether he or she was on duty at the time.
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Wall has declined to comment about the case other than to say his ability to drive was not impaired. He also has said he didn’t take any sobriety tests. His is being represented by Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith. Smith did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday morning.
The State Patrol’s investigation into the traffic stop is complete, Williams said. The State Patrol’s investigation reports will now be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office.
“Our part of it is pretty much done,” Williams said. “We just make the stops and provide the probable cause.”
The charges of DUI and prohibitive use of a weapon are Class 1 misdemeanors.
“A summons or arrest is basically an assessment of the charges,” Williams said. “You’re not guilty of anything at that point. That’s up to the DA’s Office and the courts.”
It is unclear when Wall is scheduled to appear in court to contest the charges.
Williams said he is confident his officers handled the stop appropriately.
“I have full faith in my troopers,” he said.
Wall was returning home from a Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association event at Sidney Peak ranch when he was pulled over. The Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal affairs investigation to determine whether Wall violated any policies or procedures. According to a Sheriff’s Office policy, the investigation must be completed within 30 days.