By Dave Toplikar (contact)
Monday, May 24, 2010 | 11:03 a.m.
A woman who was arrested on drunken driving charges after rear-ending a car last month in a collision that killed the other driver will plead guilty when she is arraigned next week in Clark County District Court, her attorney said today.
Miranda Dalton, 29, Las Vegas, was scheduled to have her preliminary hearing this morning in Las Vegas Justice Court in connection with the incident, which caused the death of Paul Maidman, 28, Las Vegas.
“Miss Dalton has made a choice of unconditionally waiving her preliminary hearing today,” her attorney, James Gallo, told Justice of the Peace Deborah J. Lippis.
Gallo told the judge that Dalton plans to plead guilty to a count of “DUI causing death” in District Court.
Dalton, who was wearing a jail uniform and was in chains, told the judge that she understood she could not come back for a preliminary hearing. Dalton’s district court arraignment was set for 10:30 a.m. June 1. She remains in the Clark County Detention Center on $500,000 bail. If she does make bail, she must wear a SCRAM alcohol-monitoring device and surrender her driver’s license.
The crash happened at 3:18 a.m. April 9 at Cheyenne Avenue and Soaring Gulls Drive, which is west of Buffalo Drive.
Metro Police said Dalton was driving a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee west on Cheyenne when her vehicle struck the rear of Maidman’s 2003 Buick Century.
Maidman was taken to University Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.
Authorities said a preliminary breath test conducted shortly after the wreck showed Dalton had an alcohol level more than double the legal limit of .08. Dalton also had a 2001 conviction in Clark County for driving under the influence that she got when she was 20. She also has a battery conviction for an altercation with a police officer.
Maidman’s family has reached out to STOP DUI and other groups because they want to see more stringent penalties in Nevada for intoxicated drivers.
His family has also set up a Facebook page and is seeking the maximum penalty for Dalton, which is eight to 20 years.
According to Dalton’s arrest report, she told officers she had been at Stoney’s, where she drank two alcoholic beverages and then later said she probably had four Jack and Cokes. She also told officers she had stopped drinking at midnight.
Dalton told police she was driving home from the bar to her home near the intersection of Gowan Road and Durango Drive when the accident occurred.
The officer said in his report that he smelled a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, that she was swaying, her speech was slurred and she also failed several field sobriety tests. Officers also found drugs that she did not have a prescription for â€” three hydrocone tablets and a darvocent tablet.
According to police, Maidman’s car was so mangled it was difficult to tell what it was.