A Douglas County Sheriff's deputy is accused of drunken driving after he was involved in a chain-reaction crash on New Year's Day.
Eric Schneider, 33, is accused of stopping his personal SUV in the middle lane of northbound Interstate 25 near Founder's Parkway at about 11:30 a.m. Two vehicles were involved in a chain-reaction crash with Schneider's vehicle, according to Castle Rock police spokeswoman Karen McGrath.
A second chain-reaction crash happened when three vehicles stopped behind the wreck and were hit by a fourth vehicle, McGrath said.
Police reports state that Schneider failed a field sobriety test and took a breath test, which indicated a blood alcohol level of 0.159, nearly twice the legal limit.
Castle Rock police reports stated that after the accident, officers approached Schneider's SUV, and saw that the driver's seat was reclined and he was lying back.
"The driver had his eyes closed and woke up when I spoke to him," wrote Officer Todd Brown. "I asked why he was in the center lane. He replied,'Waiting.' "
Police reports state that Schneider at first denied drinking, then admitted to consuming a total of 5 beers at about 3: a.m. while at a friend's house.
Schneider was arrested for investigation of drunken driving, careless driving and DUI, according to Castle Rock police.
The off-duty deputy was issued a summons and released. He has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.
Four people had minor injuries in the crashes, including Pete Boryla, 20, of Castle Rock, whose neck is still sore from the crash.
"I'm just thankful I'm not paralyzed. I'm thankful I'm still alive," Boryla told 7NEWS.
Schneider's Linked-In profile indicates he has been with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office since April 2008.
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