Todd Helton pleads guilty to driving while ability impaired

todd.helton.mug.shot.205x205.jpg
Big photos below.
The mug shot of Colorado Rockies all-star Todd Helton taken after his arrest for DUI in February spoke volumes about the most humiliating moment of his career -- an incident detailed in an arrest report on view below in its entirety.

Now, however, with the Rockies' season underway and going better than anticipated, Helton is taking responsibility for this error in judgment and attempting to put the embarrassment behind him by pleading guilty today to driving while ability impaired.

According to the narrative section of the report, as we've reported, Thornton police officers received a report of a possible drunk driver at a few minutes after 2 a.m. on Wednesday, February 6, from a person following behind. The vehicle in question, a Ford F150 pickup, had allegedly struck a median before pulling into a Conoco station at 128th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

A pair of cops headed to the Conoco and soon spotted the truck with its driver's side door open and the engine still running. No one was inside, but a moment later, Helton emerged from the interior portion of the station carrying a wallet, chewing tobacco and some lottery tickets.

Oh yeah: Helton was wearing camouflage. He probably looked something like this....

Thumbnail image for peyton manning todd helton hunting trip.jpg
...except Peyton Manning wasn't with him.

Luckily for Peyton.

One of the cops asked Helton for his driver's license, and he headed to the passenger side to look for it -- apparently forgetting that he'd put his wallet on the driver's side front seat. Once an officer pointed out the billfold, Helton managed to find the license inside it. Amazing!

When Helton was told another driver had seen him hit a curb with his truck, he denied doing so -- but given that the witness was speaking to the officer's partner and had consented to provide a written statement, this assertion was in dispute. So was Helton's sobriety; he's said to have smelled strongly of alcohol and was slurring his words like a champ. Nonetheless, he eventually agreed to perform roadside maneuvers -- although he noted that he had bad hips.

There's no mention of how Helton did while going through the routine, but his grade must not have been outstanding given that he was arrested shortly thereafter. En route to the police station, he agreed to take a breath test after having the process described to him several times.

While being booked, Helton volunteered that he'd guzzled two Igloo cups of red wine at about 8 p.m. the night before.

If that's all he consumed and he was still blotto six hours later, those Igloo cups must have been the size of tanks at Sea World.

After the news broke, Helton posted an apology on his Facebook page. It read:

"Last evening I exercised poor judgment and was charged with drinking and driving after driving to a gas station near my house. I am very sorry and embarrassed by my actions. I hold myself to a high standard and take my responsibility as a public figure very seriously. My entire career I have worked to set a positive example for my family and in our community and I fell far short of this standard.

"I sincerely ask my family, the Colorado Rockies Organization, Major League Baseball and the community to accept my apology. I make no excuses and accept full responsibility for my actions. I humbly ask your forgiveness."

Since then, Helton has been on his absolute best behavior, and while he's been hurt for part of the season -- he was placed on the fifteen-day disabled list late last month, but returned this past weekend -- he's kept his focus on baseball.

Then, this morning, according to the Denver Post, he entered a guilty plea to DWAI in Adams County Court and said he was "extremely regretful" about his actions earlier this year.

The judge responded by sentencing him to a year's probation, plus 24 hours of community service and a modest fine -- $400.

He should be able to cover that. Here's a larger look at his booking photo, followed by the police report.

todd helton mug shot.jpg
Todd Helton.

Todd Helton Arrest Report

More from our Mug Shots archive: "Twenty most memorable athletes' mug shots -- in honor of Todd Helton."

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
Mile_Hi_Dave
Mile_Hi_Dave

A $400 fine, $1225 in cost and 24 hours community service??  Really???  No classes??  Again, we see how the laws are different for the ones that have and the ones that don't!  He blew a 1.2...that was no accident...he was drunk and should receive the same sentence anyone else in that court has gotten for a first DUI without exception!!  My buddy got a DUI, he paid 5X the fine, got 40 hours of community service, 40 hours of classes...  I'm not saying he should get the book thrown at him for his mistake, I'm saying he should, at least, have to pay as much as the guy sitting next to him that committed the same crime!  

Jeffrey
Jeffrey

From my perspective of getting snagged in one of these bullshit things, this is a typical move on DUI cases. Prosecutors will almost always plead down from DUI to DWAI to avoid trials, especially on first-time offenders and if someone blows .08 to .0139. (Helton blew a 0.10; I blew a 0.084. Yeah. 0.084. I was also told, later, that it's better to get the blood test.) It varies from county to county, but one year of probation and a fine of this nature are normal. (I was in JeffCo and got two years of probation that was knocked down to one year for good behavior.) Also did 24 hours of community service. The fine was larger, but JeffCo is more greedy. I'm guessing there are alcohol classes involved as well; that's pretty standard.

As for probation, Helton will need to regularly (once every month or two) report to a probation officer. He can't drink alcohol or do drugs, and he'll be subject to random drug/alcohol tests. He'll need to get permission to leave the state (which is often since he's on the road with the Rockies). Upon return to the state, he'll need to submit to a urine test to make sure he hasn't been drinking. (Note: You can beat this by making sure you don't have alcohol from the previous 80 hours; if you fail, blame it on cold medicine like I did.) When I was on probation, I had to report once every week to 10 days (it varied in its randomness) and submit to breathalyzer tests to show you haven't been drinking. (Again, easy to beat; I was assigned to a 24-hour center and had all day to show up and do the test. You can't be that big of an idiot to show up with alcohol on your breath, especially if you've got 18-20 hours to make sure you're "clean" even if you drink half a fifth the night before. And, yes, I kept on drinking after I figured out the stupid-ass system and how jacked up it was, that it was all about paying the private probation offices and the courts. Seriously, the system is jacked up beyond belief.)

As for losing your license, that doesn't fall under this judge. It's a separate hearing with the Department of Revenue, which oversees the motor vehicles division. And there is virtually no bearing on the cop to prove anything. Basically, as long as the cop appears at the hearing, usually held over a conference call, and "proves" he had the right to pull you over/arrest you, you're losing your license. It's possible the cop didn't "appear" at the hearing, at which point there's no loss of license. But if he/she does and it can't be proven they had no right to arrest him, you're losing your license. Depending on the lawyer Helton has, he's looking at a 30-day suspension followed by eight months with an interlock device. I have heard of lawyers negotiating deals for a 60- or 90-day license suspension and no interlock device. Again, depends on your lawyer.

As for driving with a suspended license, tread carefully. I had no one else and did for work. I never got pulled over, but there are more big-brother cameras out there that can scan plates and nab you. But if you get pulled over with a suspended license, you're going to jail. And I never drank enough to trigger the interlock device, though it doesn't take much. I want to say if you'd blow a 0.03, it won't start the car. All breaths into the device -- before you start it AND while you're driving (yes, as you're driving 70 down the 70, it will beep and you've got five minutes to blow into the device)-- is recorded and downloaded each month to the DMV.

If anyone in this half-assed media town would do any reporting, they'd ask Helton and/or his lawyer ALL of the terms and punishments of his probation. Does he have alcohol classes? Does he report to a probation officer? And random breathalyzer tests? What of his Department of Revenue hearing and the status of his license/interlock device. What he's doing for his community service?
 

The system is jacked up beyond belief. And flawed beyond belief. But, hey, as long as it keeps the legislators happy and MADD off their asses, who cares, right?

Jeffrey
Jeffrey

From my perspective of getting snagged in one of these bullshit things, this is a typical move on DUI cases. Prosecutors will almost always plead down from DUI to DWAI to avoid trials, especially on first-time offenders and if someone blows .08 to .0139. (Helton blew a 0.10; I blew a 0.084. Yeah. 0.084. I was also told, later, that it's better to get the blood test.) It varies from county to county, but one year of probation and a fine of this nature are normal. (I was in JeffCo and got two years of probation that was knocked down to one year for good behavior.) Also did 24 hours of community service. The fine was larger, but JeffCo is more greedy. I'm guessing there are alcohol classes involved as well; that's pretty standard.

As for probation, Helton will need to regularly (once every month or two) report to a probation officer. He can't drink alcohol or do drugs, and he'll be subject to random drug/alcohol tests. He'll need to get permission to leave the state (which is often since he's on the road with the Rockies). Upon return to the state, he'll need to submit to a urine test to make sure he hasn't been drinking. (Note: You can beat this by making sure you don't have alcohol from the previous 80 hours; if you fail, blame it on cold medicine like I did.) When I was on probation, I had to report once every week to 10 days (it varied in its randomness) and submit to breathalyzer tests to show you haven't been drinking. (Again, easy to beat; I was assigned to a 24-hour center and had all day to show up and do the test. You can't be that big of an idiot to show up with alcohol on your breath, especially if you've got 18-20 hours to make sure you're "clean" even if you drink half a fifth the night before. And, yes, I kept on drinking after I figured out the stupid-ass system and how jacked up it was, that it was all about paying the private probation offices and the courts. Seriously, the system is jacked up beyond belief.)

As for losing your license, that doesn't fall under this judge. It's a separate hearing with the Department of Revenue, which oversees the motor vehicles division. And there is virtually no bearing on the cop to prove anything. Basically, as long as the cop appears at the hearing, usually held over a conference call, and "proves" he had the right to pull you over/arrest you, you're losing your license. It's possible the cop didn't "appear" at the hearing, at which point there's no loss of license. But if he/she does and it can't be proven they had no right to arrest him, you're losing your license. Depending on the lawyer Helton has, he's looking at a 30-day suspension followed by eight months with an interlock device. I have heard of lawyers negotiating deals for a 60- or 90-day license suspension and no interlock device. Again, depends on your lawyer.

As for driving with a suspended license, tread carefully. I had no one else and did for work. I never got pulled over, but there are more big-brother cameras out there that can scan plates and nab you. But if you get pulled over with a suspended license, you're going to jail. And I never drank enough to trigger the interlock device, though it doesn't take much. I want to say if you'd blow a 0.03, it won't start the car. All breaths into the device -- before you start it AND while you're driving (yes, as you're driving 70 down the 70, it will beep and you've got five minutes to blow into the device)-- is recorded and downloaded each month to the DMV.

If anyone in this half-assed media town would do any reporting, they'd ask Helton and/or his lawyer ALL of the terms and punishments of his probation. Does he have alcohol classes? Does he report to a probation officer? And random breathalyzer tests? What of his Department of Revenue hearing and the status of his license/interlock device. What he's doing for his community service?
 

The system is jacked up beyond belief. And flawed beyond belief. But, hey, as long as it keeps the legislators happy and MADD off their asses, who cares, right?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Move on . Media has many more important issues they SHOULD be following !

RustyShackleford
RustyShackleford

No jail time? No license suspension? No asset forfeiture?

Just shows that some of us are in fact more equal than others...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... a CRIME of Moral Turpitude. 

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Mile_Hi_Dave   But he plays for the Rockies ! That's nearly as 'special' as being a cop when being held 'accountable' for ANY actions !

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@RustyShackleford    

1st offense . 

Throw the book at him !

The MBL & Rockies fines are NOT enough !

He's got the cash . 

Hmmmmm.....

$250,000 fine !

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...