For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has released the sentencing results related to a felony DUI conviction. Daniel Shawn Smith, 47, was convicted in March on one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or a Controlled Substance with a Prior Felony Conviction and sentenced earlier this week to a maximum term of 15 years in prison. The sentence stems from an October, 2017 hit and run incident that occurred on Interstate 80 at Vista Boulevard. Following the accident, Smith fled and was ultimately stopped on Mt. Rose Highway and Fairview Road in Incline Village. Based on the sentence received, Smith must serve a minimum of 3 and a half years in prison before parole eligibility begins.
Facts of the case:
The case against Smith began on October 16, 2017, when the Nevada Highway Patrol began investigating a hit and run accident. The victim in the car that was hit was not injured and a Good Samaritan witness was able to provide a suspect vehicle description to NHP dispatch, including license plate information. Another witness called dispatch to inform that she witnessed the same truck, traveling at a high rate of speed, nearly drive off of Mt. Rose Highway at the turn near the Reindeer Lodge. A short time later, a patrol unit with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office located the suspect vehicle and witnessed Smith’s lifted Dodge RAM travel into oncoming traffic at least seven (7) times, causing oncoming vehicles to swerve to avoid being hit. Additional investigation by NHP identified Smith as the driver in their case and located evidence of damage on his vehicle consistent with the hit and run. NHP also determined that Smith had a prior felony DUI conviction from Texas in 2008. Smith refused field sobriety and all other DUI testing, which resulted in a seizure order being obtained to collect blood draw evidence. He was subsequently arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him. Toxicology testing later determined that Smith had over twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood and over seven times the legal limit of THC in his blood. The case proceeded to trial where a guilty verdict was secured in March of this year.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Nathan MacLellan argued that Smith has not learned from his past conduct and is a danger to our entire community and to himself. In essence, he was driving a freight train into innocent oncoming traffic while under the combined influence of marijuana and alcohol, and the only way to prevent him from doing it again is to sentence him to the maximum 15 year prison term.