Reno woman sent to prison for fourth DUI conviction

A 27-year-old Reno woman was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in Nevada State Prison for her fourth conviction of driving under the influence since 2005.

"I'm an alcoholic," Brita Class told District Judge Dave Gamble. "Regardless of your decision, I want to stay sober."

Class, who earned a master's degree while participating in DUI diversion court, was arrested June 29 in Incline Village while driving a Vespa with a blood alcohol content of .219, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.

Her attorney said Class didn't think a Vespa qualified as a motor vehicle.

Gamble removed her from the DUI diversion program designed to keep drunk drivers out of prison.

She faces sentencing in Washoe County next week for the violation. Class has prior DUI convictions in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Prosecutor Karen Dustman recommended a maximum sentence of four years.

"It's obvious to the state that more chances will not fix this problem," Dustman said. "She is a serious threat to the community. It's sad to see such a young person with this problem."

Gamble said he wasn't convinced that Class was committed to never drinking again.

"You seem to think a little alcohol won't hurt you. You have to recognize this is poisonous to you. If you get done with prison and you're not 100 percent committed, you'll be right back," Gamble said.

He said it was unusual for someone as young and accomplished as Class to have such a lengthy record.

"All you have to do is one stinking thing - that is not drink. All the bad problems of your life flow from alcohol," he said.

Class is eligible for parole in 12 months. She has credit for 99 days in custody.

Gamble said he would recommend the Washoe County judge "seriously consider" giving Class a concurrent sentence, but it was up to that court's discretion.


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