Basalt man arrested early Friday near Aspen for 7th DUI |

Basalt man arrested early Friday near Aspen for 7th DUI

A Basalt man trying to dig his car out of a snowbank early Friday morning was arrested for drunken driving for the seventh time, according to court records.

When he arrived at the Pitkin County Jail, Lauro Gonzalez-Espinoza, 48, also was found with a baggie of white powder in his pocket, which later tested positive for cocaine, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

In addition to the felony DUI charge, Gonzalez-Espinoza also faces felony cocaine possession, felony introducing contraband into a jail and misdemeanor careless driving. A fourth or subsequent DUI is considered a felony in Colorado.

Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Lazy Glen about 2:40 a.m. Friday after a homeowner reported that a white truck with people inside had been stuck in the snow in front of his home for 20 minutes, according to the affidavit. When deputies arrived, Gonzalez-Espinoza and three other men were still trying to dig out the truck.

Gonzalez-Espinoza identified himself as the driver and owner of the truck but smelled like alcohol and was “unsteady on his feet and stumbling,” the affidavit states. A deputy noticed a beer in the truck’s center console, which Gonzalez-Espinoza poured out on the ground in front of the deputy.

Gonzalez-Espinoza admitted to drinking “a couple of beers” before driving, the affidavit states.

A portable breath-test machine indicated that Gonzalez-Espinoza had a 0.11 breath alcohol content, which is above the state driving limit of .08. He later blew a 0.10 at the jail, according to the affidavit.

Deputy Josh Bennett and a deputy at the jail both asked Gonzalez-Espinoza if he had any drugs on him before he entered the jail and both times he said he didn’t.

Gonzalez-Espinoza’s criminal history indicated he’d been arrested six prior times for drunken driving, the affidavit states.