Summit County DUI conviction prompts statement from D.A.
Earlier this month a six-person jury found a Milwaukee resident guilty of driving while ability impaired by alcohol.
Frank Hasselman, 39, entered in April a plea of not guilty after he was arrested by a Colorado State Patrol trooper for failing to signal a turn and for weaving on U.S. Highway 6 in Dillon. This was Hasselman’s second DUI conviction.
Hasselman’s charges are nothing new to the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes upwards of 1,250 DUI cases every year, according to a district attorney’s office news release.
“If you walk into the courthouse any day of the week, you will see numerous people facing charges of drinking and drugging while driving,” said 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown in the release. “The message that this is really dangerous is just not resonating to the point where the problem is being solved.”
Brown’s comments took on a deeper meaning last week when 5th Judicial District Judge Mark Thompson sentenced Maverick Bain, 24, of Breckenridge, on charges of driving under the influence and vehicular homicide. Like Hasselman, this was Bain’s second DUI conviction, but this most recent incident resulted in the death of Blake Roberts, also of Breckenridge.
Bain pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, third-degree assault and vehicular homicide after he was the driver in September 2012 of a Jeep that was in a rollover crash on Ski Hill Road. Roberts, 21, was thrown from the car and killed, the release stated.
Bain admitted he consumed alcohol and drugs prior to getting behind the wheel on the night of the crash.
During Bain’s sentencing hearing, deputy district attorney John Franks recommended a term of six years in the Colorado Department of Corrections stating that, while he believed Mr. Bain had taken responsibility and was truly sorry for the events of that evening, a harsh sentence was needed in order to act as a deterrent to others in the community who may haphazardly make the same mistake.
“One of the letters I received from a friend of Mr. Bain made the point that drinking and doing drugs is extremely common in the Breckenridge community, because of its resort atmosphere and the large population of twenty-somethings,” Franks said during the hearing. “It is precisely for this reason that the consequences of that evening on both Blake Roberts, as well as on Maverick, be made known. This scenario could quite literally happen to anyone who participates in this kind of lifestyle.”
Prior to sentencing, Bain requested permission to speak directly to the Roberts family via a live camera feed, in which he expressed his great sorrow and guilt for the tragedy that was caused by his decision to get behind the wheel when he was impaired, the release stated. He also stated that he hopes he can do something to help deter others from making the same poor choice.
“I think that when people view somebody else’s problem, most times they can’t relate, and they don’t think it would ever happen to them,” Bain said. “No one ever thinks that something like this can happen to them.”
Citing his amazement for the compassion and understanding expressed by the Roberts family and Bain’s sincerity to learn from his mistakes since the accident, Thompson sentenced Bain to four years in DOC. Thompson concluded by saying he would reconsider Bain’s sentence in the months ahead.
“I understand that many young people come to Summit County to have fun; I was once one of them,” Brown said in the release. “Learn to drink responsibly within the limits of the law, and if you can’t stop, get help from AA or from the many organizations and counselors within our community.
“Blake Roberts was a young man with a wonderful future, and he lost his life senselessly. Now, another young man has had his future irrevocably altered by going to prison. Don’t be the next one to suffer such a tragedy.”
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