Colorado GOP House leader on probation from DUI incident

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Republican state House Minority Leader Mike Lynch speaks with Colorado Matters Host Chandra Whitfield Thomas at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. Lynch represents District 49. Which includes parts of Larimer and Weld counties.

Colorado’s House Minority leader Mike Lynch was charged in 2022 for speeding, driving under the influence and being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

As first reported by the Denver Post, Lynch pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and is still on probation. The Wellington Republican was ordered to do 120 hours of community service, which he said he has almost completed.

Lynch, who has a concealed carry license, is also barred from carrying a weapon until June 2024.

According to court records from Larimer County, Lynch was charged on September 30, 2022. 

“It was obviously a bad choice. I made a mistake. We don’t learn from success, we learn from failures. I’ve learned a lot. I’m keen on that. I’ve quit drinking since then,” Lynch told CPR News.

Lynch said it’s been really good not to have alcohol in his life. 

“I realized I’d been drinking and in retrospect shouldn't have been driving. I never was a big drinker but there’s just alcohol at all of these events and I let my guard down and wasn’t thinking” 

In December 2023, Lynch jumped into the crowded Republican primary for the 4th congressional district. 

Lynch announced his candidacy for Congress after GOP Rep. Ken Buck said he would not seek reelection. Lynch previously said he has no plans to step down as Minority Leader while running for Congress. 

He was first elected to the statehouse in 2020. His colleagues selected him to become Minority Leader late in 2022, after the sudden death of the previous GOP House leader Hugh McKean. 

Lynch served in the military for 11 years and graduated from West Point. He later bought Western Heritage Company, a Loveland-based manufacturer of custom belt buckles, from his father. He still serves as the company’s president. 

He is not the only state lawmaker to face alcohol-related charges in recent years. Democratic Rep. Matt Gray pled guilty to DWAI after being arrested in the final days of the 2022 session. Gray chose not to run for office again.