Aspen woman with a revoked license faces charge of DUI
The Aspen Times
An Aspen woman whose license was revoked because of a recent drunken-driving conviction in Glenwood Springs was arrested on suspicion of the same offense Monday night on Maroon Creek Road — a little more than three hours after she also was allegedly involved in a single-car accident on Watson Divide Road.
A Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office report shows that Dana Lynn Berry, 41, was charged with driving under the influence and driving under revocation following Deputy Levi Borst’s 10:15 p.m. stop of the Chevy Suburban she was driving. At 6:55 p.m. that same day, Borst responded to a crash on Watson Divide Road involving the same vehicle, which was on its side and unoccupied when he arrived on the scene, according to the report.
Reached for comment Wednesday evening, Berry said that she was not drunk at the time of either the crash or the traffic stop.
“The DUI is not going to happen,” she said. “I didn’t take the breath test. My lawyer will get it thrown out.”
Berry admitted that she was driving with a revoked license, “and I did get into a car accident.”
A narrative by Borst paints an unflattering portrait of Berry’s actions that day. He claims that shortly after his arrival to the scene of the accident on Watson Divide Road, Berry showed up in a station wagon with a man, Christopher David Giuffrida, 44, who took responsibility for the crash, “immediately and awkwardly” telling Borst that he was the driver, according to the report.
Borst wrote that Giuffrida was dressed in business-casual attire and “not showing any dirt as one might expect, with someone crawling out of a rolled car on a dirt road.”
Giurffrida told Borst — and later, a state trooper — a story about how he was driving Berry’s vehicle to his house in the Snowmass Creek Valley when he “got caught in the ruts and washboards, which flung the vehicle into the hillside, flipping it,” the report said.
Borst added, “I looked blankly at Giuffrida, as the road conditions he was describing were not the road conditions I encountered while arriving on scene.”
The deputy said he then went over to the passenger side of the station wagon to speak with Berry as the state trooper questioned Giuffrida and issued him an unspecified summons related to the accident. Berry’s eyes were “bloodshot and watery … I could see that the clothing was dirty and she had a little blood on the sleeve of her shirt.”
A short while later, Borst continued, emergency dispatchers transferred a call to him from Giuffrida, who said Berry’s Suburban had been towed to his Snowmass-area home, where he and Berry argued about her drinking. At some point, Berry left the house and drove off in the damaged vehicle.
“Giuffrida further told me that Berry had been drinking wine earlier, and that her license was revoked for a DUI ‘a couple of months ago’ in Glenwood Springs,” Borst said. Giuffrida said he wanted Borst to contact Berry as she was heading to her home in Aspen in order to “scare her because she knows she shouldn’t be driving.”
Borst was driving near the roundabout around 10:15 p.m. when he noticed the banged-up Suburban heading up Maroon Creek Road. He pulled Berry over near her house, and she claimed that Giuffrida “punched me” during their argument at his home, the deputy wrote. She was unable to provide proof of registration and insurance, he added.
“I told Berry that I knew she was driving earlier when the crash occurred,” Borst said. “Berry admitted to me that she was driving and told me that Giuffrida agreed to take the blame because she had been drinking wine and shouldn’t be driving because she doesn’t have a license.”
Borst smelled alcohol on Berry, who told him she had “a couple of glasses of wine earlier,” the report said. She failed to perform Borst’s roadside-sobriety tests adequately, he wrote, and she refused to participate in a portable breath test.
He then arrested Berry on suspicion of drunken driving and took her to the Pitkin County Jail. Soon after, she posted $1,000 bond and left the jail.
The story doesn’t end there. On the same night, Giuffrida called Borst again, saying that Berry had gone home and was harassing him via phone. Borst then called Berry, who told the deputy that she would stop calling. But as the deputy and Berry spoke, Giuffrida was calling Berry on the other line.
“I advised both of them to stop communication immediately, before the matter got worse,” Borst said.
Giuffrida was not available for comment Wednesday.
Berry’s court appearance is set for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 20.
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Eagle County, which has the largest Latino population among the three counties making up the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding environs, 60% of white people have received one dose, compared with 15% of Latinos, who make up 29.6% of Eagle’s population. A racial equity gap in vaccination appears less pronounced in Pitkin and Garfield counties; however, those counties have higher proportions of residents who did not report their race upon being vaccinated, which can skew results. Yet the disparity remains clear.