Man turns himself in for Aspen DUI " eight years later |

Man turns himself in for Aspen DUI " eight years later

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” For California resident Stephen Neal Fowler, the plan seemed simple. Fly into Aspen on Monday, catch a ride to the Pitkin County jail, and turn himself in on an outstanding traffic warrant that stemmed from an eight-year-old incident.

The plan worked up until the last part ” and that is how the 39-year-old bartender found himself Tuesday morning before County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely.

“I went to the jail [Monday night],” Fowler told the judge during a brief hearing.

But when he got there, Fowler said, he was told there was no arrest warrant on file. He said he was told to leave the premises.

“I went and got a hotel,” Fowler said.

He went on to tell Fernandez-Ely that he was “never going to drive legally until I can take care of” the outstanding warrant. The judge then asked if he had driven any motorized vehicle in the last few years.

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“Just a golf cart,” Fowler replied.

Eventually, Fernandez-Ely decided to sentence Fowler to 24 months probation and 48 hours of community service. She also ordered Fowler to undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation, and report to an evaluator in his home state.

Fowler, who hails from Santa Barbara, Calif., also was slapped with a $100 fine and related court costs.

Because the traffic incident apparently involved another vehicle that could have been damaged, the judge scheduled a restitution hearing in March to determine if financial compensation might be warranted.

Fowler was arrested at about 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2000, shortly after the Toyota Celica he was driving was pulled over by an Aspen police officer at Fourth and Main streets.

He refused a sobriety test, and was booked into the Pitkin County jail.

At the time, he was charged with driving under the influence, court documents showed.