Aurora Police lieutenant charged with DUI months after official misconduct charge

Silver was allegedly passed out at wheel
Posted at 2:56 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 17:04:48-04

DENVER – A lieutenant with the Aurora Police Department is again on paid leave after being charged with a crime for the second time this year—this time after he was allegedly caught passed out behind the wheel of his car in downtown Denver after a late-night Broncos game.

Aurora Police Lt. Leland Silver faces charges of driving under the influence, driving under the influence per se and careless driving after his latest arrest, which happened in the early-morning hours of Oct. 16.

According to a probable cause statement from the Denver police officer who arrested Silver, the lieutenant, who was off-duty at the time, was found passed out behind the wheel of his car while it was stopped at the intersection of westbound Colfax and Bannock St. in downtown Denver shortly after 3 a.m.

His car was in gear and the engine was running at the time.

The officer wrote that Silver “displayed numerous indicia of impairment,” including having alcohol on his breath and eyes that were “bloodshot & watery.”

The officer asked Silver if he’d been drinking that night, to which he replied “he had maybe a drink earlier during the game,” according to the probable cause statement. Silver refused a field sobriety test and was arrested. The probable cause statement said a blood test would later be completed.

The Broncos played a Sunday night game against the New York Giants earlier that night, but the game had ended around five hours before Silver’s arrest.

In his mug shot, Silver is wearing a New York Giants jersey.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Silver on Oct. 16.

They come in addition to an official misconduct charge Silver picked up in July following an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

It’s unclear exactly what led to that charge, as the complaint from 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler only says that Silver “unlawfully and knowingly committed an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official function or violated a statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation relating to his office” with the intent to “obtain a benefit for any person or maliciously cause harm to another.”

Silver, who Aurora police said in July had been with the department for around 15 years, was put on a non-enforcement assignment at the time pending the outcome of an internal investigation relating to the charge. He was still on the non-enforcement assignment when he was arrested in October, APD confirmed.

Court records show Silver has a pre-trial conference scheduled in the official misconduct case for early December. He was issued a criminal summons for the charge in July and was not arrested.

On Wednesday, Aurora Police Department spokesman Kenneth Forrest said the department was aware of Silver’s DUI arrest, and that Silver was still employed by the department.

“Silver is currently on paid administrative leave and an internal investigation is continuing,” Forrest added.

Silver is scheduled to be arraigned on the DUI and careless driving charges on Nov. 15 in Denver.

Denver7's Brittany Freeman contributed to this report.