Carson man guilty of 13th DUI

A Carson City man will face a maximum of six years in prison after pleading guilty to his 13th charge of drunken driving.

James Richard Schmidt, 44, admitted this week that he drove with a .288 blood-alcohol level, more than double the legal limit.

"I can't imagine we would argue for anything less than the maximum," said Deputy District Attorney Jason Woodbury. "We looked into his history to see if we could argue that he was a habitual criminal, but we couldn't do it."

If sentenced June 20 to the maximum, Schmidt will also pay a $5,000 fine. Because his prior DUI offenses only included two felony convictions, he was not eligible for the five to 20 extra years that could have been added if he was found to be a habitual offender.

"He has to have three felonies prior to this and he only had two," Woodbury said.

Two of Schmidt's convictions, incurred in 1999 in Oregon, could have been charged as felonies, he said. If so, Schmidt would likely still be in prison. He was sentenced to 11 months in jail for one of those Oregon convictions. Woodbury said it is likely Oregon authorities did not know about Schmidt's history in Nevada.

In Nevada, Schmidt has seen the back of a patrol car five times related to his drunken driving. April 1989, he was convicted in Reno; January 1990, in Sparks; September 1991, in Reno; February 1996, in Carson City and the latest on Feb. 2 in Carson City.

"This is obviously a man with a high tolerance to alcohol," Woodbury said. "He had a .288 and his driving was not that terrible."

When Schmidt was released from the Carson City Jail on bail, he was rearrested later that day, charged with violating his release by drinking.

"I've never seen anybody with more DUIs," Woodbury said.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment