Driver gets six years in injury DUI

A 32-year-old former South Lake Tahoe man was sentenced Monday to six years in Nevada State Prison for a felony drunk driving accident that sent eight people to the hospital.

John Paul Davis must serve 30 months before he is eligible for parole.

He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and drugs causing substantial bodily harm.

On July 4, 2004, Davis was driving east on Highway 50 and struck a vehicle head-on. His blood-alcohol content was .116. The legal limit for driving in Nevada is .08.

Traces of cocaine also were found in his system.

The driver of the second vehicle, John Porter, 39, suffered broken bones in both feet. He spent three months in a wheelchair, progressing to a walker, and, finally, to a cane. He had to change careers because he was no longer able to stand all day.

He and his family also moved to Oklahoma because he was unable to keep up mortgage payments on his Pollock Pines residence.

The second victim, John Welch, 41, of Galt, Calif., suffered a punctured lung and cracked and injured ribs. Welch, a chicken farmer, had to hire someone to do his job.

Davis suffered a broken leg.

Porter and the six passengers in his sport utility vehicle were returning from a day of July 4 activities in Sparks.

They were on their way back to Porter's residence in Pollock Pines when they collided with the Davis vehicle.

Deputies said Davis failed to maintain lanes and hit the Porter vehicle head-on.

District Judge Michael Gibbons questioned Davis about why he failed to do anything to mitigate the accident in the 19 months since the collision.

Prosecutor Derrick Lopez said his department had to wait for the Nevada Highway Patrol report and had trouble locating Davis who was living in Hawaii.

Davis' lawyer, Loren Graham, said his client didn't know charges were pending and he would have come back from Hawaii without being extradited.

"He knew he'd been drinking and driving and that there were drugs in his system," Gibbons said.

"I'm sorry for what happened," Davis said. "I'm embarrassed. It's something I shouldn't have done and it won't happen again. I am thankful people weren't hurt worse. I have no excuse. I am sorry."


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