Affidavit: Denver Broncos exec Matt Russell had .246 breath-alcohol level during DUI arrest

2 Broncos officials face DUI charges

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - Denver Broncos executive Matt Russell's breath-alcohol level was three times over the threshold for a DUI violation when he crashed at an estimated 40 mph into the back of a Breckenridge patrol car parked on the roadside, according to new court records.

Russell, the Broncos' director of player personnel, was the first of two team officials to embarrass themselves and the team with news reports about their drunken driving arrests over the past two days.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Tom Heckert, the Broncos' recently hired director of pro personnel, was arrested in Parker on the night of June 11 and charged with driving under the influence and careless driving.

Russell is Heckert's boss.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Russell was arrested on Saturday night after he hit two cars in Summit County -- one of them the Breckenridge police car.

Russell, whose 40th birthday was Friday, was driving a black Toyota Tundra pickup in Frisco when he collided with the first car, said State Patrol Trooper Nate Reid. Russell stopped and exchanged information with the other driver.

Later, Reid said, someone called the Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately tipline and reported a suspected drunken driver in a Toyota pickup heading south on Highway 9 from Interstate 70 toward Breckenridge.

A Breckenridge patrol officer had pulled over onto the shoulder of Highway 9, waiting for the Tundra to pass so he could make a traffic stop, when the pickup slammed into the back of the patrol car at about 40 mph, according to an arrest affidavit for Russell.

The officer was transported to a hospital with neck and back pain and a cut on his arm, the affidavit said. He was treated and released.

In the affidavit, State Trooper Andrew Gasparovic wrote that Russell said he "had no recollection of the accident whatsoever." The trooper wrote that Russell's speech was slurred, he had a strong odor of alcohol, he was having trouble maintaining his balance and his eyes were bloodshot and watery.

Russell failed a voluntary roadside sobriety exercise. He then registered a .246 breath-alcohol content on a portable breath tester, Gasparovic said in the affidavit. The threshold for a DUI violation in Colorado is .08.

When the trooper asked how much alcohol Russell had consumed, he replied, "two green drinks," according to the affidavit. The trooper said he recovered a half empty fifth of Hiram Walker peppermint schnapps from the Tundra.

Russell was arrested, checked out at a hospital, then booked into the Summit County jail on investigation of DUI, careless driving resulting in injury, having an open container and driving without proof of insurance.

Russell was released from jail after posted $1,000 bond the next day.

Russell expressed regret for his "poor judgment" and apologized to the team, Broncos fans and the National Football League for "this inexcusable mistake," according to a statement released by the Broncos on Monday.

"Our organization is extremely disappointed and concerned with the incident involving Matt Russell," the Denver Broncos said in the statement said. "We immediately expressed our disappointment to Matt, and he is fully aware of the seriousness of this situation. This type of behavior is unacceptable and very troubling. We expect better from all employees, particularly those in leadership positions."

 

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