Diversion program for topless thief | RecordCourier.com
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Diversion program for topless thief

by Sheila Gardner
sgardner@recordcourier.com

A 41-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos woman arrested for driving under the influence and stealing a bottle of wine while topless was granted a diversion program Monday designed to keep drunk drivers out of prison.

District Judge Michael Gibbons also ordered Brandi Smith to attend mental health court in Carson City.

She pleaded guilty to driving under the influence with two priors in less than seven years. According to court reports, Smith had two DUI convictions in 2008 in California.

Smith is to begin the diversion program as soon as she is released from Douglas County Jail where she is serving a six-month sentence for probation violation. That stemmed from an incident in November when Smith stole beer from a convenience store.

Prosecutor Tom Gregory said he was not opposed to the sentence as long as Smith gets into the mental health court as well.

Smith was arrested May 10 when she drove drunk in a Corvette from her Gardnerville Ranchos home in a snow squall, walked into Scolari’s topless, stole a $20 bottle of wine, and walked out.

Witnesses saw her get back into the car and drive toward a nearby Burger King where she stopped by the entrance to the drive-through with a tire over the curb and in the landscape.

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy caught up with Smith, removed the keys from the ignition, recovered the wine and held the driver’s door closed to keep her in the vehicle until deputies arrived.

Smith was taken to Carson Valley Medical Center for treatment. A preliminary breath test indicated her alcohol content at .144. A blood test revealed Smith to be at .37, more than four times the legal limit of .08 for driving.

She told Gibbons she couldn’t remember any details of the incident.

“You are on a path of destruction to you and everyone around you,” Gibbons said. “This is your last chance, but it’s a very, very good chance if you say, ‘I’m never going to drink again,’ and follow the rules.”

He told Smith she’d been in custody long enough to dry out and serve a punishment component for her actions.

By agreeing to the diversion program, Smith committed to 3-5 years of strict supervision, counseling, unannounced search and seizure, and biweekly appearances before a district court judge to monitor her progress.

When she gets her driver’s license back, Smith has to install a device that keeps her vehicle from starting if she’s consumed alcohol.

She must pay all expenses.

If she fails the diversion program, Smith faces up to six years in Nevada State Prison.