Colorado GOP leader and congressional hopeful admits to DUI and gun charge

Colorado House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, who is running for a seat in the U.S. Congress, has confessed to a DUI and a gun charge that he faced in 2022. The incident, which was not publicly known until recently, could affect his chances in the crowded Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District.

Lynch was speeding and had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit

According to a Colorado State Patrol report, Lynch was pulled over on Sept. 30, 2022, after a trooper clocked him driving 90 mph on Interstate 25 north of Fort Collins. The trooper smelled alcohol on Lynch and noticed his eyes were glassy. Lynch also told the trooper that he had a gun in his pocket and reached for it, which prompted the trooper to secure the weapon.

Lynch’s blood alcohol level was 0.16%, twice the state’s 0.08% limit. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and possessing a firearm while intoxicated. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired and received a deferred sentence for the weapons charge.

Lynch says he made a mistake and learned from it

Lynch, who is the top Republican in the state House, said he was embarrassed by the arrest and that he had learned from his mistake. He said he was on his way back from an event and was eager to get home. He also said he was not trying to use his status as a lawmaker to get out of trouble, but rather wanted to inform his colleagues at the state Capitol.

Colorado GOP leader

“I just made a mistake, and you don’t learn from success, you learn from failure,” Lynch said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m a non-drinker today and plan on staying that way. I own it, and thank God nobody got hurt.”

Lynch said he had followed all the requirements of his sentence, which included 18 months of probation, monitored sobriety, a handgun safety course, a prohibition on possessing firearms, and community service. He said he did not think the arrest would hurt his political career, as he believed people understood that nobody was perfect.

Lynch faces a tough primary race for the 4th Congressional District

Lynch declared his candidacy earlier this month for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a fellow Republican, in the 4th Congressional District. The district covers most of eastern Colorado and is considered a safe Republican seat.

However, Lynch faces a tough primary race, as at least 10 other Republicans are running for the nomination. One of them is U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, who switched districts last month to run in the more conservative CD4. Boebert is a far-right firebrand who has drawn national attention for her controversial statements and actions, such as carrying a gun to Congress and supporting the false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Lynch, who is a Christian and a former Marine, said he was running on a platform of defending the Constitution, supporting law enforcement, and promoting economic growth. He said he was confident that he could win the primary and the general election, despite his arrest.

“I believe that people understand that nobody’s perfect,” he said. “I believe that people will judge me on my record and my character and my vision for the future.”

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