Shuttle driver is charged with DUI, probation violation

Aspen Daily News Staff Report

A judge on Monday told an Aspen shuttle driver that he should consider a new career after he was arrested for allegedly transporting attendees of a wedding down Castle Creek Road while intoxicated early Sunday.

Kenneth Maupin, 53, was driving a commercial shuttle van around midnight when the passengers reported that he had been driving all over the road, according to an arrest affidavit.

Because he was driving so dangerously, “the passengers had the driver pull over, and a passenger took over driving the shuttle van,” deputy Bruce Benjamin of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office wrote.

Another deputy on Sunday identified the company Maupin was working for as Snow Limo.

At the Aspen Chapel, which was the passengers’ destination from the wedding venue, numerous witnesses identified Maupin as the driver, and he produced two driver’s licenses, including a commercial type, the affidavit says.

“He told me that he only had two drinks at the wedding and then specified that he only had two Cokes, and he added that the passengers were out of their minds,” Benjamin wrote.

Maupin allegedly emanated an odor of alcohol, had watery, bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet.

Upon a search before he was taken into custody, an Aspen police officer who also responded found a 50-milliliter bottle of tequila in Maupin’s pants pocket, the affidavit says. The officer also allegedly found another, same-sized bottle of tequila in the driver’s area of the van. This bottle was empty, Benjamin wrote.

In court Monday, Maupin was advised that he faces two misdemeanor charges of DUI and a probation violation for allegedly consuming alcohol, a prohibition stemming from a 2013 case involving domestic violence.

Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely of Pitkin County Court set his bond at $1,000 and suggested a new job is in order for Maupin.

“You’re endangering people,” Fernandez-Ely said. “It’s the worst possible thing you could be doing.”

She ordered Maupin to not drive without authorization and sign an alcohol treatment contract that includes monitored abstinence.

He said he understood, telling Fernandez-Ely that he wouldn’t let her down.

In other court news, a local man charged with stealing items from four Aspen businesses pleaded guilty to a felony and may receive four to six years in a halfway house.

Carleton Meyers, 40, said he was guilty of burglary as part of a plea agreement that saw another burglary charge and four misdemeanor theft counts dismissed.

Aspen police’s investigation in Meyers began in March, when employees of The Little Nell hotel reported having items stolen from a locker room area that is restricted to workers. Meyers was arrested after police matched up his likeness to an image taken from surveillance footage.

Meyers told Judge Gail Nichols of Pitkin County District Court that he stole from the Residences at Little Nell, a time-share operation. Police said he also targeted sporting goods shops.

His attorney, Chip McCrory of Carbondale, told Nichols that the plea deal calls for Meyers to be screened to see if he is an appropriate candidate for community corrections, a halfway house-like setting that is less restrictive than prison.

Meyers’ sentencing was set for July 30.