02192018Headline:

Denver, Colorado

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Linda Chalat
Linda Chalat
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 366

Discipline Action Late But Appropriate for Drunk Lawyer

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Last summer, an attorney driving a luxury SUV struck a cyclist on the Interstate 70 on-ramp in Evergreen. The driver, lawyer Jeffrey Detlefs, sped away with several of his children as passengers in the SUV, but leaving a part of his bumper and a license plate at the scene.

The injured bicyclist was also a lawyer, Jefferson County public defender Rex Hegyi. Hegyi has since made progress recovering from his injuries. At the time of the accident, Detlefs was with the Denver firm Kerr Brosseau Bartlett O’Brien .

Detlefs hit a tree and trashcans in the driveway when attempting to pull out of his garage. Detlefs was going about 65 miles per hours when he struck Hegyi from behind. His children reportedly pleaded with him to return to the scene, which he did briefly, only to drive away again. He drove home, with police trailing him as he neared home.

Police administered a blood-alcohol test after Detlefs failed a field sobriety test. His blood-alcohol level was .302.

Detlefs, who in January pled guilty to multiple charges who was sentenced to six years for vehicular assault and three years for leaving the scene of an accident, has finally been charged by regulation counsel under a provision stating “it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”

According to the attorney regulation complaint, Detlefs had consumed multiple gin and tonics when he set out in his 2004 Lexus SUV. He was attempting to drive his three children, 11-year-old twins and an 8-year-old, to buy school supplies. Though the accident occurred August 16, 2009 the complaint has just now been filed. The delay seems unexplainable, but the action is certainly well-deserved.

Detlefs must be evaluated by the regulation office before practicing law again. He was first licensed to practice in Colorado in 1980.