For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4304 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
February 3, 2016
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks announced today that a Reno man has been found guilty after a weeklong trial held in Washoe County District Court. The case involved charges related to driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana and alcohol, which resulted in a hit and run accident that caused severe injuries to a single victim.
Daniel Wilson 28, (DOB 7/15/87) from Reno was found guilty Monday evening after a 6 day trial held in Washoe County District Court of one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs (Marijuana) Causing Substantial Bodily Injury and one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Personal Injury.
The case began on August 16, 2014 when the Reno Police Department responded to the area of La Rue Avenue and Forest Street. Once on scene, officers located a severely injured 41 year old Reno man who had been struck by a Dodge Ram truck while riding his scooter southbound on Forest Street. Several witnesses were able to provide a description of the accident and the driver of the truck that struck the victim, who had the right of way at the intersection. The driver of the truck fled the scene prior to police arrival, but was quickly located at a nearby house and identified as Wilson. The subsequent investigation determined that Wilson had been drinking prior to the accident and had offered to drive two friends to the movies. Along the way, Wilson stopped at one of the friends’ home where he and others smoked marijuana. The group left for the movies again and the accident occurred within 30 seconds of driving away from the house. After the accident, Wilson fled and later claimed he left to secure his dog, which he had with him when the accident occurred. Wilson was arrested and this Office filed charges related to the DUI and hit and run on October 6, 2014.
During trial, the prosecution introduced evidence that Wilson had exhibited signs of impairment immediately after being contacted by police. Evidentiary blood tests analyzed by the Washoe County Crime Lab determined Wilson had a blood alcohol level of 0.117 at the time of the accident and 10ng/ml of marijuana in his system 90 minutes after the crash. This level is five times the 2ng/ml impairment level for the drug set by Nevada law. Expert testimony at trial demonstrated that marijuana hits the bloodstream and brain instantly and dissipates relatively quickly after ingestion, as opposed to alcohol which travels to the stomach prior to being absorbed into the bloodstream and brain and dissipates more slowly and evenly. Based on this science, the expert concluded Wilson was significantly more impaired by marijuana at the time of the accident.
Sentencing in the case will take place on March 18 before the Honorable Lynne K. Simons. Wilson faces up to 40 years in prison for his crimes.