Retired general put on probation

Gary E. Salazar

— A war hero was placed on one year of probation and ordered to pay almost $900 for a drunken-driving arrest last summer.

On Wednesday, 78-year-old Robin Olds was also ordered by Routt County Judge James Garrecht to perform 72 hours of useful public service and enroll in an alcohol education course.

Olds received the punishment for his guilty pleas to driving under the influence and resisting arrest last December.

“This has been the most sobering experience,” Olds said. “I feel quite contrite.”

Initially, Olds was charged with felony vehicular eluding, but Deputy District Attorney Charles Lance agreed to dismiss the charge and a minor traffic offense of weaving in return for Olds’ guilty pleas.

Olds was arrested in the early morning hours of July 12 on Clubhouse Drive.

The retired brigadier general who was a World War II ace and a legendary pilot in the Vietnam War had to be taken to the ground by a Steamboat Springs police officer because Olds would not cooperate, according to court records.

Once in custody, Olds was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center by an ambulance and treated for facial cuts.

Olds was fined $300 for the drunken-driving offense and $100 for the resisting arrest charge.

Olds also was ordered to pay $156 for an alcohol evaluation, contribute $111 to a state program used to curb drunken driving and pay $205 in court costs.

Garrecht also ordered Olds to pay $68 to the Steamboat Springs Police Department for the blood test taken to detect the presence of alcohol when he was arrested.

If Olds violates his probation, he could be sentenced to 12 months in the Routt County Jail.

About a week after his arrest, Olds was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio.

Olds graduated from U.S. Military Academy at West Point in three years. He is credited with helping to establish the first jet aerobatics team, a prelude to such groups as the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels.

Later in his career, he became a commandment of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1968. He retired in Steamboat Springs in 1973.

His home on Clubhouse Drive is a museum to his 30-year career. Medals, including a Silver Star and Air Force Cross, hang on the wall, along with numerous photos, including one showing him with former President Lyndon Johnson.

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