Colorado school district superintendent facing DUI charges

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After hitting a tree in his SUV and failing several roadside sobriety checks, Woodland Park School District RE-2 Superintendent Stephen Woolf is facing DUI charges, according to a case report from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office.

Woolf, 58, was arrested six weeks ago by Teller County Sheriff’s Office deputies and issued a summons to appear in court on suspicion of “driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with an excessive blood alcohol content.”

Woolf recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.114 after voluntarily providing two breathalyzer samples at the Teller County jail, the report states. The blood alcohol content was 0.034 above Colorado’s legal limit of 0.08.

Woolf also demonstrated “six of six clues” indicating impairment during the first of several standard maneuvers he performed at the site of the crash, the deputy noted in his report.

The crash happened about 8 p.m. on Aug. 28 near Florissant, and a deputy was dispatched to respond to the scene.

An arraignment hearing to formalize the charges is set for Oct. 29 at the county courthouse in Cripple Creek.

Normally, Woolf would have been booked into the Teller County jail and would have had to post bond before being released, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Wes Walter said.

But under COVID-19 pandemic changes, Walter said anyone stopped in Teller County on a possible DUI is arrested and given a summons, which is a ticket, and released on a promise to appear in court — unless there are other circumstances such as resisting arrest or an outstanding warrant.

Riding as a passenger in the vehicle that night with Woolf was Angel Dettenrieder, the wife of Teller County Commissioner Marc Dettenrieder and a world language teacher for the Woodland Park school district. Neither Woolf nor Dettenrieder was injured in the crash, according to the report. Dettenrieder was not arrested.

Woolf started as superintendent of the mountain school district of about 2,200 students in July 2018. Last month, the board of education renewed a three-year contract for him.

Board President Beth Huber said Tuesday that because Woolf has been cited but not convicted of charges, she would not comment.

“He hasn’t had his day in court yet,” she said. “The process needs to run its course.”

Huber said the five-member board reviewed the superintendent’s contract in September and “made an appropriate decision” to renew it.

Woolf also declined to comment, saying he hasn’t appeared in court yet and also hasn’t entered a plea. He said he would speak about the situation after the process unfolds.

About seven weeks before his arrest, one of Woolf’s adopted sons, Chris, died by suicide. Woolf wrote about the tragedy in a column in a sister publication of The Colorado Springs Gazette, the weekly Pikes Peak Courier.

Woolf said in the column that love, not shame, is needed when people are struggling with addiction, as his son did.

“What does work is love — real love that says ‘I love you anyway and no matter what.’ Chris understood this and still lost, but others are saved from this,” Woolf wrote.

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