CANYON CITY - A Bend man will lose his driver's license for life after being convicted of drunken driving that led to a one-car rollover crash near Dayville last summer.
Judge Russell West sentenced Daniel A. Shields, 36, last Wednesday, March 11, to 100 days in jail and a lifelong driver's license suspension. The sentencing followed a two-day trial before a six-person jury in Grant County Circuit Court.
The jury found Shields guilty on two counts - DUII and reckless endangerment of another person - but not guilty on a third count, fourth-degree assault. The endangerment and assault charges stemmed from the fact that Shield's 16-year-old daughter was in the car.
District Attorney Ryan Joslin said he was satisfied with the verdict.
Testimony chronicled the events on June 22 that began at a family campout along the Snake River, where Shields was seen drinking beer. He left the camp, accompanied by his daughter, to go home for a few days.
Ten hours later, his car went out of control on a curve east of Dayville, rolled and landed on the driver's side. A half-gallon bottle of whiskey - about a third full - landed outside the car in the dust.
Two passing drivers, seeing a cloud of dust from the crash, stopped to help.
While the passersby didn't notice any alcohol smell, Oregon State Police Trooper Tom Hutchinson testified that Shields had alcohol on his breath at the scene. Blood-alcohol content tests taken an hour and a half after the crash registered .08 and .09 percent. More than four hours later, a breathalyzer test at the Grant County Jail registered .03 percent, Joslin said.
Defense attorney Markku Sario said in his closing arguments that the road was recently chip-sealed and Shields may have lost control on the loose gravel because of speed, not liquor. He suggested that Shields, recovering from the impact, may have chugged from the bottle at the scene.
However, Joslin said none of the witnesses from the scene saw Shields drink from the bottle, which was found covered with a thick and undisturbed layer of dust from the crash.
Joslin contended that Shields had been nipping at the bottle as he drove, and he also noted the presence of two empty 16-ounce Tilt energy drink cans in the car. The daughter claimed she had consumed one of the drinks, which are high-alcohol malt beverages.
In his closing arguments, Joslin said Shields made a decision to drink as he drove and took alcohol along on the trip for that reason.
"It was a selfish decision, and against the law," Joslin said, asking the jury to hold Shields accountable.