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Driver in fatal Las Vegas crash had blood alcohol level of .147

Scott Gragson, a prominent real estate broker charged in a fatal DUI crash in one of Las Vegas’ wealthiest neighborhoods, had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit several hours after the wreck, Clark County’s top prosecutor said.

Despite a nearly three-hour window from the time police arrived at the scene of the crash that left 36-year-old Melissa Newton dead and three others injured, Gragson’s blood alcohol level was .147 at 8:18 p.m. Thursday, District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Wednesday. An hour later, Gragson’s blood alcohol level was .128, still more than the legal limit of .08.

In a statement earlier this week, Wolfson reiterated his stance on tough prosecution of drunken drivers.

“We take these cases extremely seriously,” he said. “We will be tougher than ever in prosecuting those who choose to drive drunk. However, by the time the problem gets to us, the damage is already done. The members of this community must be responsible and make the conscious effort to stop the DUI epidemic we are experiencing.”

In a police report, officers blamed a “complicated” scene, heavy traffic and difficulties obtaining a warrant for the delay in drawing Gragson’s blood.

His attorney, David Chesnoff, said he intends to contest the charges in court.

Gragson, who has since been freed on $250,000 bail, crashed his SUV about 4:50 p.m. Thursday in The Ridges community of Summerlin.

He admitted to Metropolitan Police Department officers that he started drinking about 9 a.m. at a charity golf event, consuming “four to five mixed drinks” and Coors beers before 2 p.m., his arrest report said.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find @randompoker on Twitter.

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