Defendant is allegedly drunk at court hearing on third DUI
A Fallon man in court to enter a plea on allegations of driving under the influence, a third or subsequent offense, was taken straight to jail after a preliminary breath test allegedly showed he was under the influence of alcohol at the 9 a.m. hearing.
Duane Anthony Davis will remain in the Churchill County Jail until next Tuesday when he will brought back to court for his arraignment.
District Judge Archie Blake ordered a preliminary breath test after a sheriff’s deputy smelled alcohol on the defendant. When Judge Blake asked Davis if he had been drinking, Davis said, “Not today, sir.”
The judge ordered that a preliminary breath test be administered.
Davis’ blood alcohol level registered .219 percent. The legal limit for driving in Nevada is .08.
Blake said Davis, 38, was not competent to enter his plea because of his alleged level of intoxication.
“He was almost three times the legal limit in court this morning,” District Attorney Arthur Mallory said Tuesday afternoon.
Defense attorney Paul Drakulich told the judge his client said he had been at a wedding reception until 5 a.m. that morning. Drakulich asked that Davis be released from custody once he sobered up.
“He’s not driving. He walked here,” Drakulich said.
Blake denied the request.
“He’s here in front of the court for a third DUI, which has a mandatory prison sentence. He can’t show up for a court proceeding intoxicated,” the judge said.
County records indicate the case is actually Davis’ fourth driving under the influence arrest within seven years.
He was arrested at Harmon and Stillwater roads on July 12 after a citizen called authorities to report a possible drunk driver.
Mallory said evidence in the case shows Davis’ blood alcohol level was .287 after he was pulled over by police in July.
He was also arrested in 2002, in 1999 and 1998 for driving under the influence.
For the 2002 offense, Mallory said Davis was sentenced to the Nevada State Prison for 12-36 months.
A new driving under the influence law goes into effect Saturday that would impose mandatory prison time for every subsequent DUI after someone has been convicted of a third offense.
The current law only applies for seven years, meaning DUI convictions drop off after seven years have passed.