Broomfield Democratic lawmaker Matt Gray arrested for suspected DUI

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
State Rep. Matt Gray at a signing ceremony for SB21-260 on Thursday, June 17, 2021, underneath Interstate 70 at the bottom of Floyd Hill, beside Clear Creek. The transportation funding bill passed this legislative session is projected to raise $5.4 billion by the 2031-32 fiscal year.

Rep. Matt Gray, 41, was arrested for a suspected DUI Thursday night. Broomfield police confirmed he was stopped around 5:30 p.m. and booked at the county jail before being released sometime later. Democratic Rep. Chris Kennedy of Lakewood said Gray’s children weren’t in the vehicle and no one was hurt. 

“He is currently at home with family talking about treatment options,” said Kennedy.

However, in a now-deleted tweet Friday morning, Gray disputed that he was driving drunk. "As many of you know, yesterday I was arrested on suspicion of DUI. I was not intoxicated, but my symptoms of anxiety and depression are such that too many people are worried when they’re around me. I’m going to increase my level of therapy and appreciate all the support," he wrote. The tweet was removed shortly afterwards.

via Tweetdeck screengrab
Gray's now-deleted tweet posted Friday, April 22, 2022.

According to a statement from Broomfield police, Gray, 41, was arrested at Coyote Ridge Elementary School under a state statute that covers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is a misdemeanor charge for the first offense. The police department declined to release the results of Gray’s roadside sobriety tests, or the court-admissible infrared test that is taken after a DUI arrest.

House Speaker Alec Garnett said he was saddened and disappointed to learn of Gray’s arrest.

“I don’t have all the facts at the moment, but it’s my belief that he has been struggling with alcoholism for some time now,” Garnett said in a statement released before Gray's Tweet. “I’m very thankful no one appears to have been hurt, and I strongly believe he needs to take time - beginning right now - to get the help he needs.”

Gray, who represents Broomfield, sits on the Transportation and Local Governments Committee. No decisions have been made yet about whether he will keep that committee assignment, or when he’ll return to the legislative session, which is in its final three weeks. He was also on the Finance Committee until leadership removed him from it earlier this session.

“We may debate policy and argue fiscal issues — but all lawmakers, despite our party affiliation, are Coloradans and we care for our state and for each other as people,” said Republican Minority Leader Hugh McKean. “I, and the Republican Caucus, are concerned about the early reports involving Rep. Matt Gray’s arrest but we support the Speaker’s plan to address the matter. We will continue to pray for Rep. Gray and his family.”

In his three terms in the House, Gray has focused on transportation issues. He successfully sponsored a bill earlier this year to allow cyclists to roll through stop signs when there aren’t other vehicles present. Gray was also a leader on a bill to end the practice of taking away people’s drivers licenses over unpaid court fees or other issues unrelated to their actual safety on the road.

It has been several years since a Colorado lawmaker was arrested for driving under the influence. In 2016, Denver Rep. Dan Pabon was stopped on St. Patrick’s Day. The Democrat later made a tearful apology on the House floor.

Four years earlier, in 2012, GOP Rep. Laura Bradford’s DUI stop resulted in an ethics investigation after Denver police said legislative immunity prevented them from arresting her. The Republican Speaker intiallyremoved Bradford from the House committee she chaired. Bradford publicly apologized to her colleagues, but maintained she did not use her position to get out of an arrest. Denver Police later admitted they had mischaracterized the traffic stop and apologized to Bradford.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of terms Gray has served. It has also been updated to clarify that he was arrested on suspicion of DUI.