LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – The district attorney calls it outrageous — five years after a jury convicted a man of numerous felonies related to his drinking and driving, the appeals court reversed the ruling.
Isidore Arthur Griego, 45, was driving on the streets of Arapahoe County and was arrested many times for driving drunk. Now, two of his felony convictions could be wiped entirely from his record.
Griego was arrested for six alcohol-related driving offenses between 1992 and 2001.
“Mr. Keep Drinking and Driving pouring himself into a car two more times, one of which he goes off the road, drives into a ditch, runs over a traffic sign, drifts over into the other lane of traffic,” Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said.
The incident Brauchler referred to was at an Arapahoe County intersection in 2005. A year later Griego got another DUI when an officer spotted him passed out in his car feet from his home.
A jury convicted the repeat offender of attempted reckless manslaughter and attempted second-degree assault for two incidents in 2010. But Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals — in a split decision — reversed the conviction, saying evidence was insufficient mainly because there was no victim.
“I think it’s outrageous … what you’re saying is, not that this person did cause the death of another person, not that this person did injure another person; but they took a substantial step toward creating a situation that could have led to a death or injury,” Brauchler said.
Brauchler believes it reinforces the need for a felony DUI law, which is currently on the table in the state Legislature, but has been criticized for its cost.
“If this guy’s in prison, he’s not picking up his seventh and eighth DUI,” he said.
Griego’s fate is now up to the Colorado Supreme Court if they hear an appeal.
Griego has served his time in prison and has been released on parole. CBS4 tried to reach him but he rejected an interview request.