Woman dropped from DUI diversion program | RecordCourier.com

Woman dropped from DUI diversion program

Staff Reports

A 44-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos woman was sentenced Monday to four years in prison after she was terminated from a diversion program designed to keep drunk drivers out of custody.

District Judge Michael Gibbons told Nikki Wilhelm she would be eligible for parole in 12 months. He gave her credit for 101 days in Douglas County Jail.

Wilhelm said she had done well in the program for two years, but relapsed when she became despondent over personal matters.

She was sentenced in June 2008 to the diversion program and was arrested June 10 when Wilhelm allegedly told a friend she was going to drink herself to death.

She told deputies who responded to her residence she drank a liter of alcohol. Her preliminary breath test was .309, nearly four times the legal limit of .08.

Wilhelm was forbidden to consume drugs or alcohol as a condition of the diversion program.

“She was extremely suicidal,” said her attorney, Tod Young. “She has mental health issues, her sense of self-worth. She got so down on herself she gave up.”

Young said she wanted to live and intended to work hard in prison.

Wilhelm said she hoped to be paroled to transition housing after prison.

“I take responsibility,” she said. “I believe if I wasn’t suicidal, I wouldn’t have drank. I want to finish beauty school and stay sober. I know I can do it.”

Gibbons said he sentenced Wilhelm to four years in prison because she has five convictions for driving under the influence.

“You did really well in DUI court for two years. It’s really disappointing to see you her. Now you’re going to prison which leads me to conclude alcohol has taken over your life,” he said.

He wished he well and said he hopes she is accepted for the transition housing.