Local woman arrested for 5th DUI
A local woman was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of drunken driving for at least the fifth time, according to court documents.
Karen Sahr, 58, has been convicted of DUI four previous times in Pitkin County, Aspen prosecutor Andrea Bryan said.
The latest DUI charge will be prosecuted as a felony after the Colorado Legislature changed the law in August 2015 to allow those with three previous DUI convictions to be charged with a felony upon their fourth DUI arrest. Her fourth arrest occurred before the Legislature changed the law.
District Judge Chris Seldin on Thursday ordered Sahr held in lieu of either a $2,500 surety bond or a $500 cash-only bond.
Sahr’s latest arrest occurred after police received a report about 4:50 p.m. Wednesday of a driver in the 800 block of East Hyman Avenue swerving and using a right turn signal to switch into the left lane, according to a police report filed in Aspen District Court.
Two witnesses said they followed the vehicle, saw it back into a parking spot in the same area and hit a parked car, the report states.
“(The witnesses) stated that as the female driver walked away she was staggering, stumbling and appeared to be intoxicated,” according to the police report.
The witnesses reported the vehicle’s license plate number, and an Aspen police officer went to Sahr’s residence in the area not long after. An officer knocked on the door and could see Sahr get up off a bed, stumble on a set of stairs and fall down before she answered the door, the report states.
Sahr admitted recently driving, though she denied consuming alcohol despite the fact that an officer “could smell a very strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Sahr’s breath,” according to the report.
Sahr attempted to close her front door after the officer told her she was under arrest on suspicion of DUI, declined to take roadside sobriety tests and refused to take a breath alcohol test, the report states. She also cursed at an officer several times on the way to jail, according to the report.
Sahr’s last arrest on suspicion of DUI occurred in March 2014 after she rear-ended a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office Chevrolet Tahoe that was parked beside Highway 82 near Wildcat Way. A deputy inside the vehicle was not injured. Sahr’s breath alcohol content after that arrest was 0.18, more than double the legal driving limit of 0.08.
She was sentenced in that case to three years of supervised probation, 50 hours of community service and 86 hours of drunken-driving therapy.
An Aspen Times article from February 2015 detailing that sentence refers to it as her fifth DUI conviction. However, Bryan said Thursday that court records indicate she’s been convicted of DUI four previous times.
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