Dashcam video shows Congressional GOP candidate Mike Lynch, GOP arrested for DUI, carrying gun
Colorado House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, who is running for Congress, was arrested in 2022 on suspicion of drunken driving and possessing a firearm while intoxicated, according to previously unreported law enforcement records.
A Colorado State Patrol report details the arrest of Lynch, a Wellington Republican, on Sept. 30, 2022. He was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, and later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired. Lynch was sentenced to 18 months of probation, which is still active, with monitored sobriety.
He received a deferred sentence for the weapons charge but was barred from possessing firearms and ordered to complete a handgun safety course.
Lynch, 54, declared his candidacy earlier this month for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a fellow Republican, in the 4th Congressional District. The primary is crowded, with at least 10 Republicans running — including U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, after she decided to switch districts to run in the more conservative CD4.
Lynch admitted to making a mistake during an interview with The Denver Post on Wednesday morning. He said he’d learned from the arrest while following all the requirements of his sentence.
“I’m obviously embarrassed by it,” Lynch said. “As a Christian man who professes to be that way, it’s not good to be known as getting a DUI. Honestly, the political impacts are not as much (of a concern) as just my overall reputation.”
Lynch was pulled over after a trooper paced him driving 90 mph on Interstate 25 north of Fort Collins. According to the incident report, Lynch had initially pulled alongside the trooper in the left lane and roughly matched the trooper’s speed before zooming off.
He said in the interview with The Post that he was on his way back from an event and was simply eager to get home.
Trooper Matthew King pulled Lynch over and asked him to step out of the car after he smelled alcohol and noticed Lynch’s eyes were glassy, the report says. Lynch complied. King wrote in the incident report that he saw Lynch had a pocket knife. When the trooper told Lynch that he was going to secure the knife, Lynch told him he also had a gun in his pocket and reached for it.
Lynch began to tell King that he was a supporter of and fought for law enforcement and that the handgun he had was “not a big deal,” the report says. But the trooper “informed him that pulling a gun out of your pocket when in contact with the police was, in fact, a big deal and people get shot that way.”
Lynch told the trooper he was returning from a fundraiser in Fort Collins and admitted to having a few drinks, “but not a lot.” Lynch then asked the trooper to call a state patrol captain who serves as the agency’s legislative liaison at the Capitol, the report says.
When the trooper indicated that he didn’t know who that person was, Lynch reconsidered and said he didn’t want to call the captain, according to the report. He then told King that he was a state representative, though Lynch didn’t bring up his position further and complied with roadside tests and a breath test.
Lynch said Wednesday that he wasn’t looking for a favor when he mentioned the lobbyist, but he was anxious and wanted to keep people he worked with informed so that they wouldn’t be surprised. He said he also was cognizant then of other situations in which public officials have brought up their status to avoid responsibility — and he didn’t want to fall into that camp.
A breath test indicated that Lynch had a blood-alcohol content of about 0.165, according to the report. Lynch told the trooper he thought the legal limit was 0.2 in Colorado, but it is 0.08 — making his reading twice the limit.
“It was irresponsible,” Lynch said. “I own this. We didn’t fight it because I own it.”
Lynch, who was first elected to the legislature in 2020, was chosen by his Republican colleagues as the House minority leader just weeks after his arrest. He succeeded Rep. Hugh McKean after McKean’s death in October 2022.
Lynch isn’t the only CD4 candidate who has had run-ins with police. Among the likely front-runners, Boebert and her now ex-husband have their own history with law enforcement, most recently when they were involved in an incident at a Silt restaurant.