Woman graduates DUI program
September 10, 2013
A woman successfully completed DUI court more than three years after she was arrested for walking topless into a Gardnerville grocery store, taking a bottle of wine and driving off in a convertible Corvette during a snow squall.
On Monday, three years and a month after receiving diversion on a felony DUI sentence, Brandi A. Smith, 44, appeared in Douglas County District Court having graduated from the program, met all of her requirements, and with cash in hand to pay her fine.
Under Nevada law, someone who's been convicted of three instances of driving under the influence in seven years is subject to a mandatory prison sentence. An intense diversion program, which includes serving a jail term, house arrest, as well as regular reporting, but in the end the third DUI is essentially erased.
On Monday, Smith was sentenced for second DUI to four months in jail and six months house arrest, which she has already served. She told District Judge Michael Gibbons she had the fine of $1,047 with her.
Smith wrote her own evaluation of the program, in which she said it was harder than jail time.
"I went from a binge to being somewhere where I couldn't get anything," she said. "Being in jail gave me someplace safe to be."
Smith said she hasn't driven since 2010, and spent the time getting her associates degree.
She is attending AA meetings once a week and is continuing her counseling in an effort to stay sober.
After congratulating Smith, Gibbons offered her a warning, he called dire.
"The legislature provides this option, but it's one-time only. If you get another DUI it will count as a felony with a 2-17 year prison sentence. It's a dire warning, but think about it should anyone tempt you with a drink. That's the old you, not the current you."
■ A Dayton man was sentenced to 12-34 months in prison after he failed his probation.
Anthony Kendall, 27, was arrested in Washoe County on May 18 on a possession of paraphernalia charge that was later dropped.
He admitted to leaving drug court, changing his address without notification, and not paying his fees. Drug court was a condition of Kendall's probation.
Kendall told Judge Michael Gibbons that he planned to attend the Salvation Army treatment program once he got out of prison.
With 356 days time served, Kendall won't be with the Nevada Department of Corrections long before he's up for parole.
"But just because you're eligible, doesn't mean you'll be released," Gibbons said.