Douglas commissioner arrested for allegedly driving drunk |

Douglas commissioner arrested for allegedly driving drunk

by F.T. Norton, Appeal Staff Writer

A Douglas County commissioner who is facing theft charges was arrested over the weekend in Carson City on suspicion of drunken driving, state police said Tuesday.

Steven Weissinger, 45, was booked into the Carson City Jail about 7 p.m. Saturday after he was stopped at Carson and Stewart streets for allegedly driving 51 mph in a 35 mph zone, said Trooper Blair Harkleroad of the Nevada Highway Patrol.

According to Carson City Justice Court documents, a trooper spotted Weissinger’s black, two-door Honda heading southbound on Carson Street at 6:29 p.m.

The trooper estimated the speed at 45 mph. He then turned on his radar, which clocked Weissinger’s car at 51 mph, the report states.

When he stopped the car, Weissinger provided a Nevada driver’s license for identification. In his report, the trooper said he wrote a citation for speeding, and as he was explaining it, Weissinger “asked if he could get out of the vehicle. I said sure, and he got out.

“While out of the vehicle, I could smell an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.”

The trooper asked Weissinger if he’d had anything to drink, to which the commissioner allegedly replied he’d “had a beer,” according to the report.

The trooper then performed a field sobriety test, which Weissinger allegedly failed.

Harkleroad said Weissinger was also given a preliminary breath test, but he declined to reveal the results. “It was over the legal limit,” Harkleroad said.

The breath-alcohol content limit in Nevada is .10. It will be lowered to .08 on Oct. 1.

Weissinger was taken to the Carson City Jail and booked on suspicion of misdemeanor drunken driving and speeding.

Weissinger’s attorney, William Cole, said Tuesday his client was not drunk.

“The arrest was unfortunate, but we don’t think he was above the legal limit when he was driving,” Cole said. “When he tested on the (preliminary breath test), he was a .07. Our belief was that he was not above the legal limit.”

Deputy District Attorney Bob Morris, filling in for District Attorney Scott Doyle who is on vacation, said his office would have to wait to see the report before any action could be considered as far as Weissinger’s seat on the board.

“The approach our office would take would be to wait until there is a conviction, if there is one,” Morris said.

Commissioner Bernie Curtis said he was shocked by the allegation.

“This is the first I have heard of it,” he said. “I’m deeply saddened if this is correct.”

Jail records indicate Weissinger was released at 9:30 p.m. after posting a cash bail of $1,239.

A hearing is set for 10 a.m. Nov. 9. Weissinger is not expected to attend, Cole said.

Weissinger, the District 1 commissioner for Douglas County, is also awaiting a November trial date on three counts of misdemeanor embezzlement in California.

He was approached by Raley’s Supermarket security in South Lake Tahoe, where he was a store manager, for allegedly taking a $100 bill from a store safe.

Prosecutors allege they have evidence of two other incidents. In total, Weissinger is accused of taking more than $1,000, according to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.

Weissinger has served on the Douglas County Commission since 1996.