Santa Barbara – On July 10th, Cat Cora, 45, comely blonde with a nationwide fan base derived from her appearances as a featured performer on the “Iron Chefs of America” television series and from her publication of a trio of cookbooks, issued a public statement of apology pursuant to ongoing controversy surrounding her DUI arrest in downtown Santa Barbara in the early evening hours of June 17, 2012.
Cora was arrested and cited by Santa Barbara Police Department officers after a low speed accident which was followed by a field sobriety test. According to SBPD Public Information Officer Riley Harwood, she “showed signs of inebriation,” supported by her blood alcohol levels at the scene of 0.20 and 0.19, and by a blood test BAC of 0.19 nearly an hour later.
Because Cora was cited for DUI and remanded to the Santa Barbara Sobering Center rather than booked directly into Santa Barbara County Jail, local debate persists over the possibility of preferential treatment being given to her due to her celebrity status. Without responding to such concerns directly, Harwood sought to clear up the distinction between a DUI “cite” and a DUI “arrest”. “The department uses these terms interchangeably because a suspect is both arrested and issued a citation,” he reported to the media.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley responded to media inquiries with the simple announcement that Cora has been charged with one DUI count and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
“I deeply regret my decision to drive that evening after my designated driver became unavailable,” Cora declared in her media statement. “I learned a very important lesson from this experience and take full accountability for my actions. This will never happen again.”
Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail
The Inquisitor: Cat Cora Cited for DUI in Santa Barbara
Huffington Post: Chef Strikes Pretty Pose After DUI Arrest
Santa Barbara Independent: Cat Cora Cited for DUI