Drunken drivers seek diversion programs
July 26, 2018
Two men who endangered other drivers while under the influence appeared in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday.
An 18-year-old Indian Hills man admitted to a felony in connection with a March 4 collision at highways 50 and 28 near Spooner Lake.
Daniel McDonald admitted to one count of attempting to fail to stop at a traffic collision resulting in injury.
McDonald left the scene of the collision in which a passenger was injured. Deputies found his vehicle near Spooner Lake.
McDonald is seeking a diversion program that would allow him to attend a regimental discipline program, commonly referred to as boot camp.
As part of a plea agreement, MacDonald will also plead guilty to charges of battery and petit larceny in connection with a June 4 arrest for knocking down a store security agent while shoplifting at the Target. A felony robbery charge would be dropped against him.
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A Gardnerville Ranchos man will get to participate in a DUI deferral program after he admitted to felony drunken driving.
A deputy testified on Tuesday that Joshua J. Weimer, 36, was in a pickup near the Ranchos sandpits when he spotted him.
Matt Sampson said that he was looking for Weimer after receiving a report of a suicidal person with a gun.
Weimer took off in a cloud of dust and drove at speed down Heritage Lane and then onto Dressler Lane as the deputy followed.
Sampson said he had not activated his lights and sirens in an effort to reduce the chance of further exciting Weimer.
Sampson testified Weimer pulled onto Highway 88 north without stopping and then veered into the oncoming lane forcing another motorist off the road.
That was when he received authorization to activate his lights and sirens and Weimer yielded and was taken into custody.
In addition to being drunk, prosecutor Ric Casper said Weimer had a substantial amount of methamphetamine in his system.
Casper said one of the things that prompted him to seek active prison time was that Weimer was involved in a fatal collision as a juvenile.
Weimer said the passenger was drunk, but he was not in that collision, which occurred in California.
Judge Tod Young told Weimer that he was granting diversion in an effort to keep him from driving under the influence.
"If I put you in prison you'll be out in so many years and you may not get the counseling you need to stop drinking," he said. "This will get you treatment so you don't go out and kill someone. If you take this opportunity and fail, expect to go to prison for six years."
Young pointed out that Sampson was trying to help Weimer, who turned to the deputy and thanked him.
Weimer said that for the first time in his life, he felt clear and ready to go forward.