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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : state July 22, 2014

10/8/2012 9:56:00 PM
Cochise Sheriff Dever's blood alcohol 3 times the legal limit in fatal crash
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever

FLAGSTAFF (AP) - The blood-alcohol content of the Cochise County sheriff who died in a one-vehicle wreck in northern Arizona was more than three times the state's legal limit, an autopsy report shows.

Larry Dever was traveling alone on a dirt and gravel road near Williams last month when his pickup rolled, coming to rest on a rock embankment. Officials from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office had indicated Dever had alcohol in his system, but didn't specify the exact amount until Monday - 0.291 percent.

The legal limit in Arizona is 0.08 percent.

Dever's family and the Coconino County sheriff said they hoped the autopsy report wouldn't detract from Dever's legacy as a polite, admirable man who was firm in his beliefs and who stood out as a leader on border security.

"That is obviously the struggle and what everyone is trying to come to grips with," Coconino County Sheriff Bill Pribil said. "Larry made a tragic error in judgment, and unfortunately, he paid the ultimate price for that miscalculation in judgment."

The autopsy report also showed Dever's seatbelt wasn't buckled, and authorities noted he had beer and liquor in his vehicle.

Pribil said it's uncertain whether investigators will be able to determine when Dever began consuming alcohol or how long he'd been drinking. The office has not yet completed a report that would indicate whether alcohol, Dever's speed of 62 mph on a road with no speed limit, the road itself or something else was a major factor in the crash.

Dever was on his way to meet family members for a camping and hunting trip at White Horse Lake when he crashed on the U.S. Forest Service road.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office declined to comment Monday on Dever's blood-alcohol level. But it released a statement last week from his family saying Dever undoubtedly was reeling from the stress of his mother's death, which occurred four days before Dever's Sept. 18 death.

"It is with great sadness that circumstances surrounding the last few days of Larry Dever's life culminated to this end," the statement said.

Kelly Dupps, program specialist for the Arizona office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said driving while distracted by the effects of alcohol, emotions or technology never is safe. She called Dever's death and all others resulting from drunken driving a "needless tragedy."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Article comment by: Question Authority

Wow. Three times the legal limit? How do you drink that much alcohol without passing out?

Mike Palmer

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Article comment by: don't judge


Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: TO: Just Saying

If your "authorities" had wanted to handle this incident differently, you would have never even heard about it. Who do you think notified the media about it in the first place? You, sir or madam, know not of what you speak.

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: Rod Williams

If you want to do something for the man then show your disdain for alcohol. If we could keep all alcohol ads where they belong, in the sewer, we as a world would be better off.

Alcohol shares much of the blame for Sheriff Devers tragic death yet the population does not protest. Alcohol has the majority of humans hood winked and will continue to hurt our society in a big way as it has been in the past unless we protest. I suggest that the advertising of any harmful addictive products be made a class 6 felony.

One would think that pushing any poison on the population making them look yummy is just not done in an intelligent society, one would naturally think. The intelligence is missing from this crop of human mammals.

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: M D

Please let the man rest in peace. Our sympathies should go out to his family and friends. Politics has no place in this.

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: kristen bowers

My thoughts and prayers to the family. I can understand he had to have been under much stress with his mothers passing he was a great sheriff and a decent man. To many harsh words shouldn't be said. He was a man in mourning and a human being.. We all make mistakes. Again much prayers to the family.

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: Truth Please.

@just thinking, YOU are a VERY judgmental person....I also know you are not above telling lies about people !! I WONDER what skeletons are in YOUR closet?

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: Rest In Peace, Sheriff Dever

Let us not forget his servitude.
Thoughts and prayers to all who knew and loved him.

Marianne Elizabeth Vangalio

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: just thinking

This sure casts a shadow over any good he's done in his life.

Just goes to show no one is too big to obey the law.

Very sad that such a young man did such a dumb thing to cost his life.

My condolences to his family.

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: mitch chickelero

I empathize with what happened to this man, I too made t he mistake of using alchol, as with him, it was not the norm, but from the self rightious I had condemnation heaped on me. I hope the same does not occur here. My sincere simpathies to his family.

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: Just Saying

The "authorities" handled this much differently than any regular case. Now they try to cover their trail with many stories about this when one honest story shoud have been the end of it. They did NOT come out with the common statement "alcohol appears to have been a factor.." This is another in the millions of examples that the government is illegitimate. It treats people differently according to position, power, , wealth or lack thereof, color, age, gender the list is long. The FACT that there is no equality under the law means there is no law worthy of honoring. Live free!

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Article comment by: The Rev

My thoughts to family. Shame to the man.

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