Two Colorado liquor store employees were sentenced this week for selling alcohol to a customer who was visibly intoxicated before she caused a deadly accident in 2019, CBS Denver reports. The customer, Lindsey Ward, left the store and crashed head-on with another vehicle, killing Benjamin Mitton, 41, and Nichole Gough, 43.
Cody Moral, 26, and Avran Lefeber, 38, both from Breckenridge, were sentenced to $800 in court costs and fines. The pair must also complete a Training For Intervention Procedures class and write an apology letter to the victims' families.
"Although Ms. Ward did not consume the alcohol she bought from Moral and Lefeber, they knew she didn't appear normal and had a duty to not sell to her at that time," said Stephanie Cava, Deputy 5th Judicial District Attorney.
Investigators said Ward admitted to drinking the day of the deadly crash. Moral and Lefeber said she appeared "tired" when she purchased alcohol at Breckenridge Market & Liquor Store. The men offered her a ride home, but said Ward refused.
Ward drove off the road after leaving the liquor store and then over-corrected, crossing the center line and causing the head-on collision. Colorado State Patrol estimated Ward's blood alcohol level was .290 g/100mL at the time of the crash, more than three times the legal limit.
As of Nov. 1, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports 168 traffic fatalities involving an impaired driver, which is up 14% from 2019 despite lower traffic volumes. The largest increases this year in excessive drinking has been observed in western states, including Colorado, according to CDOT.