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‘Warrant problems’ delayed blood test in fatal Las Vegas crash

Updated June 4, 2019 - 10:46 pm

Explaining why it took police more than three hours to take DUI suspect Scott Gragson’s blood after a fatal crash last week, an officer blamed the “complicated” scene, traffic and “problems” getting a warrant, police documents show.

Gragson, a prominent Las Vegas real estate broker and the grandson of a former Las Vegas mayor, is accused of crashing his SUV in a Summerlin neighborhood Thursday afternoon, killing a woman and injuring three other people. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of DUI resulting in death, two counts of DUI resulting in significant bodily harm, and three counts of reckless driving resulting in death or significant bodily harm.

Gragson’s attorney, David Chesnoff, told the Review-Journal, “We will vigorously contest the case.”

The officer who wrote Gragson’s impaired driving report, which was released to the Review-Journal on Tuesday, did not elaborate on the “electronic warrant problems.”

Gragson crashed his SUV about 4:50 p.m. Thursday in The Ridges community. 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.

Police arrived at the scene of the crash at 5:11 p.m., and the warrant process was started at 6:45 p.m., the report said.

While Gragson failed three field-sobriety tests at the scene, the impaired driving report does not indicate that Gragson received a breath test. He was taken to University Medical Center with minor injuries.

Gragson said he would submit to a blood test, but a warrant was requested because the district attorney’s office requests that police “obtain a search warrant for blood” for all death and substantial injury cases, the report said.

The warrant was obtained at 8:12 p.m. — nearly three and a half hours after the crash — the report said. Gragson’s blood was taken at the hospital by a lab technician at 8:18 and 9:21 p.m. The report did not list Gragson’s blood alcohol level.

The impaired driving report indicates that an officer should provide a reason in the report if a blood or breath sample is not taken within two hours. It’s illegal for someone “found by measurement within two hours” of operating a vehicle to have a blood alcohol level above .08 percent, according to Nevada law.

Two blood tests could be compared to calculate an earlier blood alcohol level.

An officer wrote in the impaired driving report that Gragson had a 2001 “prior arrest for DUI” in Clark County from the Nevada Highway Patrol, but the officer did not indicate if Gragson was convicted. Record of the arrest could not be found in online court documents Tuesday.

Chesnoff, Gragson’s attorney, said Tuesday that he did not have information about a possible prior arrest.

Gragson has been freed on $250,000 bail. As conditions of his bail, Gragson was ordered to surrender his passport and not drink alcohol, court records show. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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