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Charlie Monfort was more than three times above the legal limit

Nov 7, 2013, 7:08 AM EDT

Hi, I’m Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort:


When I was pulled over, I told the police I had “about two beers.” But when took the breathalyzer I blew a 0.284, which is more than three times above the legal limit. Essentially, by blood had a higher proof than an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and a large glass of Zin, combined!

But the real lesson here is how wonderful my judgment is. I drank and then I drove, which could’ve literally killed people. Then I was so deluded about how drunk I was that it either caused me to think I only had a couple of beers or to think that I could’ve gotten away to lying to police about it. But man, considering I agreed to take that breath test, I probably literally did not know how many beers I had. That’s how drunk I was and how big of a problem I have. Heck, I’m probably smiling in my mugshot here because my brain was totally addled and I had no appreciation for the gravity of my situation!

Another problem I’m causing, even if it’s merely implicit: I’m making it awfully hard for the Colorado Rockies to be firm with players and employees when it comes to alcohol abuse. I mean, it’s bad enough when, mere months after our first baseman drove drunk that we feted him with awards and gifts. It’s bad enough that we play in a stadium literally named after a beer. But here I am, the co-owner of the team for crying out loud, behaving dangerously and irresponsibly and avoiding killing multiple people only by the grace of God, yet nothing really major is likely to happen to me.

Thank goodness I didn’t praise someone whose politics are unpopular. Or say racist things. Or take a drug with extra testosterone. If that were to happen I’d probably be in trouble. A suspension. A fine. Some sort of public reprimand from Major League Baseball.¬†All I did is drink way, way too much and then pilot a couple thousand pounds of metal down a highway. Again.

I will likely end up getting fined a couple hundred dollars from the state and I will probably have to do some community service. I may check into a rehab facility if my family (and my lawyer) manage to talk sense into me. But after that I’ll go back to accepting large checks for watching my baseball team do things. And if they win stuff next year, I’ll be there, in a champagne-filled locker room at my beer stadium, happy to accept a trophy when the game is over.

And none of this will ever be mentioned again.

  1. thegonz13 - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    First, two guys from the Broncos front office. Now, the owner of the Rockies…

    … must be something in the Denver water!

    • Kevin S. - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      Problem is, it’s so easy to mistake Coors Light for water. Leads to some touchy situations.

      • stex52 - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:59 AM

        You mean it isn’t? Uh oh.

      • 4d3fect - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

        Bear Whiz beer! It’s in the water! (That’s why it’s yellow.)

      • stex52 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        I see what you did there with the Firesign Theatre thing.

      • 4d3fect - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        @stex52, not for me, but new FST swag over at cafepress.

  2. yahmule - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    He did only have two beers. A lot of people don’t know this, but Charlie Monfort only weighs 18 pounds.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:35 AM

      Actually, it’s because he went to a bar that serves 86 oz beers. Two of those will MESS you up, man.

      • Old Gator - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:47 AM

        I think he should take a long vacation in the Ozarks and taste some Bourbons.

      • largebill - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        Problem with the really large beers is they tend to be warm on the second half.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:51 AM

        Nah, you can chug it. You just need to remember when to turn the boot.

    • ezthinking - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      I’m sure he only had two beers….he just forgot about all the shots that the beers were chasing down.

    • Dan McCloskey - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Actually, he had two of these beers.

  3. largebill - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:48 AM


    I get & support ripping the guy for driving drunk. However, think it’s a little silly to focus on his comments (okay, lie) to the cops that he had “about two beers.” What do you expect him to say, the truth? Should he start trying to count to fifteen on his fingers? Anyone who is pulled over who has had anything to drink will minimize what they’ve drank. If you had two you say “officer, I just had a beer with dinner.” If a guy had 6 beers he says he only had “about two beers.” The offense is operating a vehicle while drunk. I don’t consider not going out of your way to help the cops to be the offense.

    • raysfan1 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      The issue wasn’t lying to the police when he said he only had two beers, nor that he wasn’t helping the police discover his offense. Cops pretty much know someone is that inebriated immediately upon speaking to them. He did help them also by agreeing to the breathalyzer, although he’d have been nailed for the DUI even without it. The point of using the two beers statement was the sheer absurdity of it. I’ve heard that same line innumerable times working in ERs, and it is so ridiculous that it deserves to mocked.

    • danrizzle - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      The “had two beers” admission shows up in about 99.2387462873423% of DUI police reports. In my own experience defending DUI cases, it’s usually the cops’ helpful embellishment upon the facts which, unless there is a dashcam video/audio of the stop, is completely unfalsifiable. The police do this because (1) it constitutes an admission, giving them probable cause to get a chemical test, and (2) if the chemical test comes back higher than a two-beer buzz, they can smear the defendant as a liar. I’m not saying that Monfort didn’t actually say it–just that I never fully believe the “two beer” admission in a police report without audio/video.

      That said, 0.248 should put him in jail, make him lose his license and subject him to to an extended parole term upon his release.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        Not to mention, since it is not a first offense, mandatory rehab in a lock down unit.

  4. bat42boy - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    A really good piece of writing. Enjoyed reading it.

  5. NYTolstoy - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    well atleast he apologized Craig. Good for him writing an article like this even when he was drunk. Serously though damn that’s a pretty high amount of booze. its about what? 6-12 shots of hard liquor I believe or 18 beers. Either way its pretty far from 2.

  6. historiophiliac - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Warning: Drinking alcoholic beverages will impede your ability to do maths. So, if you want to be a mathemagician, lay off the potations. HBT cares.

    • indaburg - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Here, hold my beer while I solve this differential equation. Carry the hypotenuse over the pi…

      Um, I had two beers.

  7. jcmeyer10 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    How many Igloo cups of booze is that?

  8. chip56 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    My question for Craig: are you saying that if MLB doesn’t punish drunk drivers it shouldn’t punish steroid cheats or that MLB should also punish drunk drivers?

    • raysfan1 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

      The latter.

      • chip56 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        In that case I agree.

    • paperlions - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      He is saying, quit obviously, that MLB and the media that covers it have messed up priorities in which they fine, suspend, and publicly rake over the coals behaviors that are not as dangerous to the public (if dangerous at all, in some cases) as drunk driving.

      Number of people killed in alcohol related accidents in the US in 2011: 9,878

      Number of people killed due to steroid use last year: < 5, and probably 0 (a big deal is made any time a single death can be potentially obtusely related to steroid use.

      About 30 deaths/year are related to amphetamines….over 80,000/year are related to tobacco use….but at least those people are mostly killing themselves, not other people.

      • chip56 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

        I don’t disagree that there is a double standard – however, if his point is that had Todd Helton failed a steroid test the Rockies wouldn’t have honored him, he’s mistaken. David Ortiz failed a steroid test and you can be damned sure that the Red Sox are going to honor him when his time to retire comes. Andy Pettitte admitted using HGH and the Yankees honored him.

        The guys who are getting hammered over steroids aren’t just getting hammered because they used steroids. They’re getting that treatment because, on top of failing a drug test, they’re assholes. Manny, Alex, Bonds and Clemens (though the latter two never tested positive – that we know of) aren’t considered “good guys.” Some are surly, some are phoney, some are Manny.

        Furthermore, if Craig’s argument was that if an owner did steroids he would be subject to penalty by MLB, I doubt that as well since the JDA only applies to players and not owners. Ron Washington did cocaine and he wasn’t penalized by MLB or the Rangers.

        As for the notion that should the Rockies win something it would be bad form to have him in a booze filled locker room after the game – that’s silly too. Josh Hamilton is an alcoholic and addict, the Rangers didn’t ban alcohol from their celebrations when he was on the team. Nick Adenhardt was killed by a drunk driver, the Angels still served alcohol in their clubhouse after making the playoffs that year.

        Should MLB and the union address penalties for drunk driving in the next CBA? Yes, but in general, Craig’s is a strawman argument that has very little validity.

  9. lessick - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    While I understand and wholeheartedly agree with you Craig, there is one minor issue:

    “Essentially, by blood had a higher proof than an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and a large glass of Zin, combined!”

    A BAC of 0.287 represents 0.287%, not 28.7%. Someone with >25% blood alcohol would be very dead.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      I think it was a joke.

      • courageousdeer - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        Nope, don’t think so. I think Craig needs to review 5th grade math.

    • jm91rs - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      I read about a University of Iowa girl that recently blew a .341 in jail. She absolutely should have been dead, but she was still walking (barely) and trying to rush the field in the middle of a game. 0.341 is nuts.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        .370 and higher can cause death, .450 and higher is usually fatal. I have seen one person in the ER with higher levels that did live though (he did have a seizure disorder after that, however).

  10. frank35sox - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Yeah Craig, because refusing to take a breathalyzer is a great move. Now I understand why your no longer a lawyer. Driving is a “privilege”, not a right. You know what happens in Indiana when you refuse to take a breathalyzer? Your license is suspended for one year. So yes, good advice.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      You know what happens in Indiana when you refuse to take a breathalyzer? Your license is suspended for one year. So yes, good advice.

      Know what else happens, you aren’t giving tangible evidence of driving under the influence. So the choice is: lose your license or provide proof that you are breaking the law.

      • chip56 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        The penalty is the same either way.

      • jm91rs - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        The penalty on your driving privileges is the same, but not on your insurance and jail time.

    • jm91rs - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      There is not a lawyer alive that will tell you to take the breathalyzer if there is any chance that you’re drunk. The license suspension is not a DUI, it’s quite different in terms of insurance and standing on your record. I’ve never had a DUI but have heard from enough people and lawyers that your attorney has a much better shot in court if you refuse the test.

  11. cocheese000 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    At .30 BAC you lose all control over your bodily motor skills. He was pretty close. Luckily he didn’t kill somebody.

    • yahmule - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Career alcoholics can function (to a degree) with astounding BAC levels and Charlie is a dedicated drinker.

      • largebill - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM

        Concur. People who say you lose all control at X % bac have likely not spent decades in a drunken state. I had a boss in the late 70’s and we didn’t realize he was always drunk until the one time he came to work sober. Have known guys who could polish off a case of beer with shots thrown in for anti-freeze during a day of fishing and not be visibly drunk.

  12. deathmonkey41 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    I have to imagine that as co-owner of a MLB team, he could afford to pay someone to drive him around, no?

    • chip56 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      Yes but when you’re that drunk your ability to make the decision that you’re too drunk to drive is impaired.

      Being drunk often leads to bad decision making because your judgement is impaired – such was the case here. The sober person says, “hey, I shouldn’t drive right now, let me call a cab” the drunk person says “eh, I’m fine…”

      • deathmonkey41 - Nov 7, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        I hate driving and always have a contingency plan to get home when I’m driving. Even if that plan is walking my ass all the way home and leaving my car there. If I were rich, my plan would be “Pay someone to effin’ drive me around!”

  13. babyfarkmcgeezax - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    He must have just read some of Craig Calcaterra’s writing to cause him to drink so much.

  14. favrewillplay4ever - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Moron! Don’t drink and drive! But if you do.. And you get stopped and know you’re hammered, never take the breathalyzer. Better to sit the night in the drunk tank and give your attorney a little wiggle-room in pleading down than to give them any more proof of your intoxication/idiocy to drink and drive.

    Some (all??) states have much stiffer penalties for a baa 3x over the limit than an unknown no contest baa. Let the judge think you made a one time mistake rather than prove to him or her you have a serious drinking problem.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Hard to argue a one time mistake when you’ve already been arrested for DUI.

    • jfk69 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      With those numbers in some states it would be an automatic license revocation for one year or longer,larger fine,mandatory substance program and if injury had occurred..Mandatory jail time..EVEN FOR FIRST OFFENSE
      Then an interlock on the car when you finally do all the above

  15. jfk69 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Based on Breathalyzer and not knowing how many hours elapsed before he took it after being stopped.We can roughly gauge the amount of alcohol he drank. These numbers take into account his consumption started 4 to 5 hours prior to his being stopped
    Roughly 18 12 oz beers, Give or take one or TWO..
    18 1 oz shooters. Same applies
    18 6 OR 7 ounce glasses of wine
    I am guessing he meant 2 or 3 cases of beer. He misunderstood the question because he is hard of

  16. jfk69 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Seeing his picture and knowing the amount of booze he consumed I have no doubt he is a functioning alcoholic. Cops could not use the watery bloodshot eye logic here.

  17. jm91rs - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    I was once with a friend that had literally one beer when we were out with friends. He was fine to drive, the beer was with dinner and we didn’t head home for hours. The car did smell of beer because we had 2 very drunk guys in the back seat, but both myself and the driver were sober. We were pulled over and the officer did the stand on one foot, start the alphabet at m, etc. He passed every test and told my friend to wait in the car. After a few minutes he told us we were speeding and swerving and my friend needed to take the breathalyzer. He refused, saying “I know I will pass, but those are unreliable. Take me to a hospital and do a blood or urine test.” He ended up letting us go with a speeding ticket (the swerving thing was not legit) for 8 mph over the speed limit, which was voided after a few hours in a safe driving class.
    The moral of the story is NEVER take a breathalyzer if you have even a drop of alcohol in your system. If they want a real reading they need a blood test and without any real test your lawyer has a shot at getting you off completely.

  18. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    And perhaps the funniest thing is Craig never ripped into Puig for doing 100 in a 50 mph zone. It’s ok though! He’s an asset to the community!

    • bh192012 - Nov 7, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Puig is superhuman and can react four times as fast as a normal human, therefore 100 in a 50 was no problem for him. He would have been good up to 200 mph in a 50 zone.

      /end sarcasm

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