DUI suspect’s vehicle rams police sign

An electronic message board that police sometimes use to warn people against driving drunk was hit early Saturday morning by a suspected drunken driver, according to the Grand Junction
Police Department.

Levi Trujillo, 23, of Montrose was driving west on U.S. Highway 6&50 near 25 Road just before 2 a.m. when his vehicle went off the road and into the sign, knocking it approximately 300 feet from the roadway, police said.

The sign, which was placed in the area recently with a warning for drivers to slow down, is sometimes programed to read “Don’t Drink and Drive,” Police Department Sgt. Dave Stassen said.

Police gave Trujillo a breath test and a summons alleging that he was driving under the influence of alcohol and driving carelessly. He was released from the scene after another driver came to retrieve him, Stassen said.

As a truck hauled away the damaged sign, it became tangled in some power lines on Mulberry Street and took out a utility pole there. Power was out for residents in the El Poso neighborhood for about an hour around noon Saturday, according to Xcel worker Garry Tullio.

Cable-television customers reportedly lost reception for most of the day.

Stassen said the city has two message boards, and the signs help reduce crashes in the area of U.S. 6&50. He said police will seek restitution from Trujillo for the sign, which is valued at “thousands of dollars.”

The signs are programmed to read “Don’t Drink and Drive” about four times a year, Stassen said.


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