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February 21, 2013
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Jail term for drunk driver who crashed into garage

A 27-year-old Gardnerville man who took his boss's pickup truck without permission while intoxicated, and crashed into a garage in Chichester Estates was sentenced Wednesday to serve 22 days in Douglas County Jail.

Robert Clifford Scott pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzlement and driving under the influence stemming from the Oct. 19 incident.

East Fork Justice Tom Perkins set a May 15 restitution hearing.

Scott said on Oct. 19, he had been drinking heavily, and drove the vehicle to a bar where he continued to drink.

On the way home, Scott was traveling east on East Marion Russell Drive when the pickup left the road at about 8 p.m., and hit an electrical power box, a cable television service box, an unoccupied parked pickup and the garage door of the home.

The vehicle came to rest against a tree in the front yard.

Scott, who had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit of .08, was taken by CareFlight to a Reno hospital with injuries.

The accident resulted in an interruption in electrical and cable service in the neighborhood.

The Douglas County Building Inspector and several utility company personnel responded to the accident scene to evaluate the damage, according to the sheriff's report and the residence was deemed inhabitable.

The homeowner was in the garage when the vehicle struck, and said he narrowly escaped injury.

Gardnerville Town Manager Tom Dallaire, appearing in court Wednesday, credited East Fork firefighters with preventing diesel fuel from going in a storm drain.

"It could have been a lot worse," Dallaire said.

Scott's lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said his client was remorseful and embarrassed by what happened.

"When he first came to see me, he expressed how horribly he felt. His employer was not just his boss, but his friend," Lopez said. "He betrayed the trust and hurt somebody who was a friend."

Prosecutor Erik Levin said he wanted Scott to find full-time employment.

"Given the damage caused to (victims') business and home, I want to send a message to the importance of what he (Scott) did," Levin said.

Scott agreed to turn himself in Thursday to serve the jail time.

Lopez said he had completed a court-ordered victim impact panel, and a substance abuse evaluation.

"He does want to make this right," Lopez said.

Perkins fined Scott $897 and ordered him to get a job to begin to pay restitution. Scott must abstain from alcohol and controlled substances, and attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week.

"You've learned a hard lesson," Perkins said. "You have a duty to stay sober, get a job and pay those people back."

He is on probation for two years, and faces suspended sentences of 180 days for the embezzlement, and 30 days for the DUI.

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The Record Courier Updated Feb 21, 2013 04:41PM Published Feb 21, 2013 04:39PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.