Alcohol violation earns month in jail |

Alcohol violation earns month in jail

by Sheila Gardner

A 44-year-old Garderville woman was ordered to serve 30 days in Douglas County Jail after she admitted drinking alcohol in violation of her probation for a second driving under the influence conviction.

Ramona Madore was a passenger in a car that was stopped Jan. 9 for a traffic violation.

Her blood-alcohol content was tested twice. The first result was .147 and the second .237, more than three times the legal limit of .08 for driving.

Madore’s lawyer, Tod Young, pointed out his client wasn’t driving and hadn’t been using controlled substances.

He asked that her probation be reinstated, allowing her to continue with a notice of election of treatment.

“I have known Ms. Madore for many years. She has struggled with many issues. I commend her for getting behind the substance abuse issues,” he said.

“She lost her son and has been estranged from other family members,” Young said. “She has been caring for her grandson and working. She drank, but I don’t think she deserves six months in jail.”

Prosecutor Erik Levin said he felt Madore had enough chances. He said she had prior convictions for DUI and battery and had served time in prison.

“Sometimes, enough is enough,” Levin said. “This is the first time she got caught. How many chances do you have to give somebody?”

Madore told Judge Tom Perkins she had been sober for 167 days before she drank.

She said she told her counselor “I was on the edge.”

“I was overwhelmed going through the holidays,” Madore said.

Madore said she cooperated with law enforcement when she was picked up.

Perkins said he would reinstate her probation, but she was disqualified from the notice of election. That means she faces higher fines and other consequences.

“The only reason you’re not getting six months is because you weren’t driving,” Perkins said.

In addition to weekly counseling, he ordered her to attend a minimum of three 12-step meetings a week.

“I am willing to work with you, but I can’t let you off the hook,” Perkins said.

Madore’s son, Christopher Medina, was killed in July 2009 in a single-vehicle rollover at the power dam south of Gardnerville.

The driver, Jerrett L. McAlister, 28, was sentenced to six months in jail, followed by six months for possession of methamphetamine in an unrelated charge.

He was back in district court on Tuesday on a probation violation for failure to pay supervision fees and driving an unregistered vehicle.

McAlister told Judge Michael Gibbons he borrowed the car to register for college and didn’t know it wasn’t registered.

His probation officer said while the offenses were minor, McAlister continued to demonstrate a pattern of noncompliance.

McAlister’s lawyer Kris Brown said he tested negative for drugs, enrolled for classes, and was attending substance abuse counseling at his church.

Gamble reinstated McAlister’s probation and sentenced him to eight days in Douglas County Jail with credit for time served.

“I am so tired of you I can barely stand it,” Gamble said. “Everybody’s really serious about holding you to the terms of your probation.”

Gamble said McAlister flooded his office with letters to be released from jail before Christmas.

“I let you out and now you’re back in front of me. You don’t get to breathe crooked. You don’t get to walk crooked. You are this close to going to prison.

“I realize everybody doesn’t get in a friend’s car and makes sure it’s registered and licensed, but you don’t get to be that person,” Gamble said.

McAlister faces up to four years in prison on the drug charge.