Boulder's DUI officer arrested on suspicion of driving drunk in Thornton

Another Boulder officer arrested 3 weeks ago

BOULDER, Colo. - An off-duty Boulder DUI police officer is on administrative leave after she was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk in Thornton.

Officer Elizabeth Ward was driving on Interstate 25 on Tuesday when another off-duty police officer reported he was following a sedan that was swerving and traveling about 25 mph under the speed limit, according to a police report completed by Thornton officer John Patterson.

Before Patterson arrived, he writes, the other off-duty officer told dispatchers that Ward's sedan had come to a stop near 136th avenue but was still partially blocking traffic.

In his narrative, Patterson writes that he identified himself as a police officer and asked Ward why she was stopped on the side of the highway.

"Elizabeth paused for several seconds and said, 'I'm drunk.'"

Patterson described Ward as having slurred speech, the smell of alcohol on her breath and bloodshot and watery eyes.

When Ward was asked to exit the sedan, the report said she agreed but had to make several attempts to unlock and open the door. Outside the car, Ward was described as staggering.

According to the document, Ward was not armed, but did have ammunition and police gear in the trunk of her sedan.

Ward is the Boulder Police Department's only officer currently assigned solely to DUI enforcement, Chief Mark Beckner confirmed to the Daily Camera.

Thornton police took a sample of Ward's blood and issued her a summons for weaving and DUI. She was then released into the custody of a Boulder police sergeant rather than being booked into jail.

Beckner also confirmed Thursday that three weeks ago, Detective Scott Morris was arrested on suspicion of DUI by the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, the newspaper reported.

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