Brighton’s mayor arrested in Idaho, charged with DUI

Dec 13, 2022, 6:22 PM | Updated: 6:25 pm

BRIGHTON, Utah — The mayor of the town of Brighton was arrested over the weekend in Idaho and accused of driving while intoxicated, two and a half times the legal limit.

Danial Elmore Knopp was charged in Idaho’s 5th District Court with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

When contacted by KSL.com on Tuesday afternoon, Knopp declined to comment.

A deputy was patrolling Sun Valley Road near Main Street in Ketchum, Idaho, about 9:45 p.m. Saturday when he spotted a vehicle with a Utah license plate that had snow on the side windows that appeared to be obstructing the driver’s view, according to an arrest report by the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy noted that it was snowing at the time and the westbound lane was plowed, but the eastbound lane still had six inches of snow on it.

The deputy reported watching Knopp’s vehicle speed up, then said the driver “lost control” and went into the opposite lane of travel. The driver then did not stop for a posted stop sign and “over-corrected sharply to the right” toward parked cars, according to the report.

“The Mercedes continued driving too fast for conditions east, went through (another) stop sign … without stopping, lost control again and swerved into the oncoming lane, fishtailing,” the report states.

At this point, the deputy pulled Knopp over. He noted in the report that “there was so much snow and ice on the driver’s window” that Knopp couldn’t roll the window down.

“Danial stated there was no reason why he was driving in that manner. Danial apologized for his driving multiple times,” the report says. “Danial also stated they were having a good time driving in the snow.”

Knopp was with his wife and two others. He told the deputy they were at Sun Valley Resort for the weekend and were coming from dinner. The deputy noted that Knopp had “very glossy and bloodshot” eyes, his speech was slurred and there was a “strong odor” of alcohol on his breath, according to the report.

Police say Knopp failed his field sobriety tests. He then took two breath tests and each time measured a 0.207% blood-alcohol level, the arrest affidavit states. The legal limit in Idaho is 0.08%.

After Knopp was handcuffed and placed into the back of the deputy’s patrol car, he allegedly stated that “he takes full responsibility and he assumed he was over the legal limit,” according to the report.

Knopp was elected as Brighton’s first mayor in 2019. As the mayor, Knopp serves as a member of the board of directors of the Unified Fire Authority.

His next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Contributing: Andrea Olson, East Idaho News

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Brighton’s mayor arrested in Idaho, charged with DUI