State Patrol denies hyping mega-drunk Keith Kilbey into a stoned-driving poster boy
In January, Keith Kilbey, 23, was among the first people to be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs in the wake of limited recreational marijuana sales becoming legal; he crashed into a Colorado State Patrol vehicle and damaged a second one.
Keith Kilbey. More photos below.
Local media organizations that covered Kilbey's arrest, including this one, focused on the DUID angle. But when Kilbey was sentenced last week, news broke that he was incredibly drunk -- more than three times over the legal limit -- in addition to being high at the time of the collision. Afterward, the Washington Post accused the State Patrol of manipulating the press to push the stoned-driving angle -- a charge a CSP spokesman vigorously denies.
"Any assertion that the Colorado State Patrol has attempted to sensationalize the incident is untrue and ridiculous," writes Sergeant Mike Baker, corresponding via e-mail.
The original release about the January 11 incident can still be found on the Colorado State Patrol Facebook page, along with photos from the scene. The opening paragraph reads: "Two more patrol vehicles were struck last night while investigating a crash. This crash, a result of an intoxicated driver, comes just weeks after two patrol vehicles were hit on I-70, east of Aurora, resulting in injuries to one of our Troopers."
Photos from the accident scene courtesy of the Colorado State Patrol.
The release goes on to note that just before 9 p.m. on the 11th, two troopers were "investigating a crash on the ramp to I-76 from northbound I-25." They'd positioned their vehicles -- a Ford Crown Victoria and a Dodge Charger -- in a manner intended to block the left lane of the ramp, and their emergency lights were activated.
Nonetheless, Kilbey, behind the wheel of a Chevy truck, apparently didn't see them. He smacked into the Crown Vic, pushing it into the Charger. Neither of the troopers was hurt, but their vehicles sustained heavy damage.
Shortly thereafter, the release points out that Kilbey "was arrested...and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs."
In a subsequent interview with Westword, another CSP rep, Trooper Nate Reid, confirmed that the drug in question was marijuana. However, one comment suggested another substance may have also been a factor. "Everybody knows that driving under the influence is illegal," Reid told us. "And just like alcohol is legal when it's used away from a vehicle and away from driving, marijuana is now legal away from driving, too. But when you mix the two, it can be dangerous."
Nonetheless, alcohol isn't mentioned in the CSP release -- and neither is it suggested that the charges against Kilbey went beyond driving under the influence of drugs.
New information about the case surfaced on June 5, when the 17th Judicial District DA's office informed the press about Kilbey's sentencing: He was given thirty days home detention and eighteen months probation for crashing "while drunk and stoned."
Continue for more about the Keith Kilbey and his alleged hyping into a stoned-driving poster boy, including additional photos.