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Grand County commissioner arrested for drunk driving in Colorado

Evan Clapper.jpg
Posted at 12:24 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-20 12:22:07-04

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Colorado — Grand County Commissioner Evan Clapper was arrested Wednesday for driving under the influence in Colorado.

According to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, an officer observed Clapper, 42, driving slightly above the speed limit through Silverton at around 9:30 p.m. After passing the officer, Clapper allegedly slowed, but did not stop, at an intersection stop sign.

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When the deputy began following Clapper to initiate a traffic stop, Clapper drove through another stop sign to enter Highway 550, and then drove in a gravel ditch on the side of the road for 15 feet, according to the probable cause report.

The officer said Clapper remained driving for another 100 yards even after she turned on her siren and emergency lights.

Clapper's "eyes were watery and he was smiling" after he was told by the officer why he had been stopped. The report says his speech was "slow and slurred" and that he had admitted to having one beer after skiing and dinner.

While undergoing a voluntary sobriety test, Clapper appeared unsteady and used his SUV to steady himself, the report says.

"I proceeded to walk Mr. Clapper through the voluntary roadside maneuvers and observed he was unsteady on his feet and unable to satisfactorily complete them as compared to a sober person," the officer wrote.

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When asked if he would consent to having his blood drawn, Clapper asked if it was possible to have it done the following day, to which the officer refused.

As another officer attempted to place handcuffs on Clapper, he "moved his arms and attempted to walk away from us." Clapper verbally objected to the handcuffs, even after they were attached and he was placed inside a patrol car.

Police found a can of alcohol in the center console of Clapper's SUV and unopened cans behind the driver's seat.

Upon arriving at the sheriff's office, Clapper refused to get out of the patrol car unless the handcuffs were removed. After 30 minutes and being told he would be charged with obstructing a peace officer if he continued to refuse, Clapper agreed to cooperate.

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Clapper was charged with one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving an Uninsured Vehicle, Speeding, No Registration, Displaying Expired Number Plates, Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign and Obstructing a Peace Officer.

According to records, Clapper remained in jail until Friday morning.

Clapper represents District 4 in Grand County.