FORT COLLINS - A volunteer CSU Ram Ride driver who smoked marijuana during his shift said he didn't think he was too stoned, but he's sorry.
"It was my decision, and it was a dumb decision," said Karl Dalwin Colville La Borde, 19, an engineering student at Colorado State University. "I thought I wouldn't get caught, that I would somehow be able to go through the night without any trouble. It was a very stupid mistake."
He and a navigator for the late-night, safe ride service through Associated Students of Colorado State University didn't have any passengers early Friday morning when he decided to smoke from his pipe, La Borde said. He'd stopped and exited the car to smoke while the navigator used his phone to find the next passengers.
A CSU Police officer stopped the white Ram Ride sedan after it was observed going 39 mph in a 30 mph zone on the 600 block of South College Avenue in Fort Collins, according to La Borde's arrest affidavit in Larimer County Court.
"On contact with the driver, La Borde, the odor of burned marijuana was detected. La Borde later admitted to smoking 'a bowl' 20 minutes prior to driving," according to the arrest affidavit.
A small amount of marijuana was found in his pocket, and a grinder with marijuana residue was seen in open view in the vehicle console. La Borde consented to roadside maneuvers and failed them, and a blood test was conducted at Poudre Valley Hospital, according to the arrest affidavit.
La Borde said he wasn't drinking and that until that incident, he'd been a recreational smoker.
"I felt like my driving would not have been impaired, because the amount of pot I smoked would've been compared to one cigarette to a cigarette smoker who smokes a pack a day," he said, adding that he was wrong to do it regardless.
He said he's not a medical-marijuana user, and he's done smoking marijuana.
"I'm completely sorry to anybody I've offended," La Borde said. "I'm extremely sorry, and I hope that people can forgive me for what I've done."
Colorado voters legalized small amounts of marijuana in last fall for adults over 21. It remains illegal for people under 21, and it also remains illegal to drive under the influence of it.
Ram Ride is a volunteer service run by student government that gives students free rides home Thursday nights through Saturday nights when school is in session.
Volunteers must go through an application process and are told each night not to allow alcohol or drugs in the vehicles. The service has been running for nine years and gives about 1,000 rides per weekend, said Ram Ride Director Chelsey Green.
Robert Duran, ASCSU chief of staff, said many people who've been drinking use the service, but some riders are people who need a ride home from studying or other activities. This is the first case of a driving-under-the-influence charge in Ram Ride history, he said.
Duran said La Borde and the person who was his navigator are banned from serving as Ram Ride volunteers. The organization is considering policy changes in light of the incident.
"It's really shocking to hear an incident like this happened," Duran said, adding that Ram Ride provides a positive service to the community.
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