Labor & Employment

Cop Clocked at 143 Shouldn't Be Fired Over DUI and Speeding Case, Lawyer Argues

A Denver police officer pulled over and ticketed by the Colorado State Patrol two years ago after being reportedly being clocked speeding at 143 mph in a 55 mph zone is fighting his firing in an administrative hearing before a city Civil Service Commission panel.

An attorney for the Denver Police Protective Association told the panel that the June 17, 2010 incident served as a catalyst for Derrick Curtis Saunders to make a complete change in his life,” the Denver Post reports.

Charged with speeding and driving under the influence after his breath alcohol tested at 0.089 (the legal limit is 0.08), Saunders was sentenced to five days in jail, a $300 fine and 100 hours of community service in the Arapahoe County case. He had previously been acquitted by a jury in an Arapahoe County felony menacing case after being accused of pulling a gun when he become impatient as he waited for his order at a fast-food restaurant.

Attorney David Bruno argued that the wrong disciplinary code section was applied to Saunders in the administrative termination case, leading him to be more harshly punished than the norm over the drunken driving incident.

Additional coverage:

Denver Post (2009): “Denver cop accused of using gun to speed up McDonald’s breakfast”

Denver Post (2011): “Denver cop fired for driving drunk at 143 mph wants job back”

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