SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Two Breckenridge liquor store employees were sentenced this week for selling alcohol to a customer who was visibly intoxicated. The customer, Lindsey Ward, left the store and crashed head-on with another vehicle, killing Benjamin Mitton, 41, and Nichole Gough, 43.

Vehicle occupied by victims Nichole Gough (driver), and Benjamin Mitton (passenger), after the crash. (credit: 5th Judicial District Attorney)

Cody Moral, 26, and Avran Lefeber, 38, both from Breckenridge, were sentenced to $800 in court costs and fines. The pair must also complete a Training For Intervention Procedures class and write an apology letter to the victims’ families.

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“Although Ms. Ward did not consume the alcohol she bought from Moral and Lefeber, they knew she didn’t appear normal and had a duty to not sell to her at that time,” said Stephanie Cava, Deputy 5th Judicial District Attorney.

Investigators said Ward admitted to drinking the day of the deadly crash. Moral and Lefeber said she appeared “tired” when she purchased alcohol at Breckenridge Market & Liquor Store. The men offered her a ride home, but said Ward refused.

Ward drove off the road after leaving the liquor store and then over-corrected, crossing the center line and causing the head-on collision. Colorado State Patrol estimated Ward’s blood alcohol level was .290 g/100mL at the time of the crash, more than three times the legal limit.

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In a statement to CBS4, 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown said that Ward did not consume the alcohol that she purchased from the market. But Moral and Lefeber, by offering to drive her home, recognized her impairment and should not have sold it to her.

In court, prosecutors described Ward’s drinking at a golf course clubhouse prior to the purchase from the market. But DA Brown told CBS4 his team could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the servers at the clubhouse recognized her impairment, and therefore could not be held responsible for serving her.

As of Nov. 1, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports 168 traffic fatalities involving an impaired driver, which is up 14% from 2019 despite lower traffic volumes. The largest increases this year in excessive drinking has been observed in western states, including Colorado, according to CDOT.

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