Las Vegas Sun

July 7, 2015

Currently: 92° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Boulder City:

DUI trial for former councilwoman postponed a fifth time

Karla Burton was arrested on DUI charges in 2007

Click to enlarge photo

Karla Burton

A trial on a driving under the influence charge against former Boulder City Councilwoman Karla Burton was delayed again today, the fifth time the case has been postponed in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Deputy District Attorney Bruce Nelson said the chemist who analyzed a blood sample taken after Burton's arrest two years ago has since died, and the sample must be analyzed again.

Burton said she was disappointed by the delay.

"I would like to get this resolved," she said.

Burton was arrested Feb. 6, 2007, after Boulder City police officers saw her in her car at a gas station parking lot on Nevada Highway, according to police records. She was charged with DUI after failing a field sobriety test, records indicate. Her blood alcohol content was .274, more than three times the legal limit of .08, according to police records.

Police Chief Thomas Finn said he has asked the district attorney's office not to accept a plea deal that reduces the charges.

"That's not what I want. That's not what the city wants," Finn said. "It doesn't serve justice to negotiate a lesser plea."

Finn, who was the victim of a DUI crash when he was 20, has made driving under the influence one of his key focuses throughout his police career, he said.

Nelson has said a plea agreement is possible before trial, which has been rescheduled for Oct. 28.

Finn said he has talked to officials in the district attorney's office about an alternative to a trial, the Moderate Offender Program, which involves intensive supervision and treatment for a year or more before reducing the charge and resolving the case.

The program requires the offender to admit being drunk and includes 90 days of house arrest with no alcohol allowed in the home, unannounced checks and one-on-one counseling.

"In my past, I would have said, 'No way. There needs to be punishment,'" he said. "But this is a way to get treatment for someone who may not seek it."

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comment so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.