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Tahoe man sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for 7th DUI conviction

Joseph Estrella (Photo: Washoe County Sheriff's Office)

A Lake Tahoe-area man has been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison after receiving his seventh DUI conviction, according to prosecutors.

The Washoe County District Attorney's Office says Joseph Estrella, 37, was pulled over back in Oct. 2015 in Incline Village after a sheriff's sergeant saw him driving without a working brake light.

The sergeant approached the car and smelled marijuana, according to prosecutors. Estrella admitted to smoking cannabis before driving, and he was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

A blood test found both marijuana and methamphetamine in Estrella's system after his arrest, the D.A.'s office argued, and he pleaded guilty in February to felony driving under the influence.

He had six prior DUI offenses over the course of 19 years in California and Nevada, and a deputy district attorney argued at sentencing those DUIs "proved he was incapable of rehabilitation and a danger to the community."

Estrella would not be eligible for parole until he's served a minimum of six years in prison.

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