DENVER
01/31/2012 11:45 am ET

State Rep. Laura Bradford's 'Legislative Function' In Question; May Have Attended Lobbyist Happy Hour At Nearby Bar

It's a bizarre story reeking of perceived political privilege, and it's about to stink a little more.

Colorado's Rep. Laura Bradford (R-Colbran) was recently accused of citing legislative immunity to avoid a DUI. After being pulled over by Denver Police at 10 p.m. January 25th for erratic driving, KRDO reports police -- despite acknowledging she smelled of alcohol and admitted to drinking -- released her with a minor traffic citation (an illegal left turn), and allowed her to ride home in a taxi.

How'd she work this political turn of hand? Bradford had apparently -- and unintentionally, according to her story -- invoked immunity under a little-known clause in the Colorado Constitution. Article V, section 16 exempts lawmakers from arrest when traveling to or from legislative sessions, except in cases of treason or felony.

Bradford told Denver Police she was leaving a legislative event, and had to return to the Capitol in the morning. Voila! Hands clean of the whole mess, except for one tiny detail: The Daily Sentinel points out the House finished its work at 10:30 a.m. the morning of the 25th.

Given that she was pulled over nearly 12 hours later, what exactly were her "legislative duties?" The Denver Post has confirmed via 'multiple sources' the Rep. had attended happy hour at Prohibition, a nearby bar, for several hours.

But that's not all! ColoradoPols goes one step further, finding:

the "legislative function" Rep. Laura Bradford was allegedly attending last Wednesday night was in fact a "weekly lobbyist happy hour"...

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