Now before I go on I want to be clear the main subject of this posting is not Cat Cora but rather the abnormal courtesies shown her during the arrest process.
Just yesterday I wrote and questioned did we really need any more unfavorable media attention to come from events during another Santa Barbara police D.U.I. stop and or arrest; “I wonder if all the current unfavorable media attention caused by the actions of Superior Court Judge Brian Hill is as frustrating to Santa Barbara City and County Elected Official’s as it is to the public”. I also had this observation. “One would think that the standard operating procedures for a Santa Barbara Police officer to follow during a D.U.I. stop and arrest are well documented by now” Here is the link to that postingg. http://santabarbaracriminalcourtcorruption.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-wonder-if-all-current-unfavorable.html
Of course at the time I had no idea that there was another Santa Barbara D.U.I. arrest in the news that instantly went national. It turns out that Celebrity chef and Santa Barbara resident Cat Cora was cited Sunday June 17 for driving under the influence after she caused a minor traffic accident on upper State Street. Cora provided two breath samples at the scene and a blood sample was taken soon after at nearby GoletaValleyHospital. Officer Harwood said Cora was issued an arrest citation and then transported from the hospital passing the County jail skipping normal booking procedures and left off at the Down Town Sobering Center on East Haley Street. However Cora did return to take her booking photo 11 days later, which TMZ was the first to release yesterday.
Here is a link to the video taken on the day of the arrest
I bet it safe to say this case will be assigned to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill because of all the media that will surround Cora’s every step. Now almost every media outlet that is carrying this story to date has only focused on the arrest involving Cat Cora. They have no idea about all the recent D.U.I. issues here in Santa Barbara like the Peter Lance case for example and that is why I went right to talking about the preferential treatment she received.
Also Kudos to Independent reporter Tyler Hayden for doing her job of never taking anything for granted. It was her random search of past D.U.I. arrest reports that lead to the discovery and news scoop. I have included her full story below for your review but more importantly. I have included the 30 reader’s comments and how they feel about all of this. My job has become much easier lately because of the increased public comments; our Elected Officials need to take notice.
Cat Cora Cited for DUI….. By Tyler Hayden (Contact)
Police Say She Was Returning from Cold Spring Tavern after Fight with Partner
Originally published 6:41 p.m., July 9, 2012
Updated 10:30 a.m., July 10, 2012
UPDATE: Through her publicist, Cat Cora issued this statement Tuesday morning: “I deeply regret my decision to drive that evening after my designated driver became unavailable. I learned a very important lesson from this experience and take full accountability for my actions. This will never happen again.”
ORIGINAL REPORT: Celebrity chef and Santa Barbara resident Cat Cora was cited June 17 for driving under the influence after she caused a minor traffic accident on upper State Street. Her arraignment is scheduled for July 26.
According to SBPD spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood, Cora rear-ended another vehicle at 6:15 p.m. at the intersection of State and La Cumbre streets. The car in front of her, a 2001 BMW 325i, had stopped at the crosswalk limit line when Cora, in a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, bumped it from behind at a low speed. The BMW’s male driver told responding officers he thought Cora was intoxicated. No one was hurt in the accident.
Officers on the scene said Harwood, conducted field sobriety tests and determined Cora, 45, showed signs of inebriation. She said she had consumed three bottles of beer at Cold Spring Tavern and was on her way home. Cora also told officers that she and her partner had been arguing earlier in the evening, said Harwood.
Cora provided two breath samples at the scene which registered her blood alcohol level at 0.20 and 0.19, and a blood sample taken soon after at nearbyGoletaValleyHospitalregistered a BAC of 0.19. Harwood said Cora was issued an arrest citation and transported to theSoberingCenteronEast Haley Street.
Cora’s publicist and her defense attorney didn’t immediately return requests for comment. The SBPD’s press release that detailed her arrest, part of a general roundup that described DUI-related incidents in the city from the past three weeks, was sent at 5:15 p.m. on Monday. Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Cora is charged with one DUI count and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
Cora is best known for her featured role as an iron chef on Iron Chef America. She also co hosts Around the World in 80 Plates and has authored three cooking books.
[EDITOR’S NOTE]: There was initial confusion Monday night over whether Cat Cora was cited or arrested for her alleged DUI. Harwood clarified Tuesday morning that, in DUI cases like these, the department uses those terms interchangeably because a suspect is both arrested and issued a citation.
It would be interesting if the statistics for drunk driving arrests and convictions were posted publicly in a way where we knew where the people came from prior to being pulled over.
I say this because it would be interesting to find out the comparative impacts the casino, the wine bars, tasting events, and regular taverns have on public safety.
I was with a group of people on the patio of the Boathouse last summer. Cat was there with her girlfriend (I had no idea who she was, nor do I care). They were using a chair to put their purses on. The place was packed. I politely asked if I could use the extra chair. She said “no” and that it was bad luck to put purses on the ground. Karma, baby!
Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
engines pumping and thumping in time.
the green light flashes, the flags go up,
churning and burning, they yearn for the cup,
they deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
fuel burning fast on an empty tank,
Indy, she CLEARLY was arrested for DUI, but just not booked intoCountyJail. She received a citation with a court date and was booked into theSoberingCenter. Theoretically theSoberingCenterwould not have actually released her until they felt she was no longer under the influence of alcohol.
I’m not sure of SBPD’s criteria for booking DUI suspects into theSoberingCentervs. booking them into theCountyJail. I thought just those arrested for public drunkeness went to theSoberingCenter[assuming they were cooperative enough], but evidently I was wrong.
“She said she had consumed three bottles of beer at Cold Spring Tavern and was on her way home …”
Yikes, so this person drove down 154 with 0.19 blood alcohol? Scary!
LegendaryYeti is reading between the lines. The correct objectivity of the Independent report does require reader questions. Seemingly, some preferred treatment was given to this reportedly DUI and at-fault in the accident low-level star. Good-looks, blonde, friendly with PD? Fundraising ‘community’ for local activities leagues? The mind does churn with the possibilities with this reported sobriety center stop rather than a booking at the county jail.
Keep an eye on our County Court System. I’d bet good hard cash she gets special treatment. The masses would get the usual license suspension, fine, traffic school, 48 hours minimum jail. Hey Joyce D., we are watching. Not that you care…..did Cat donate to your campaign? Just curious.
I hate to agree with many of the other posters here, but I too suspect this entire case will be quietly swept under the rug in the very near future.
Hopefully alert court watchers will keep an eye open & let the media & rest of us know when it comes up in court.
If it’s “business as usual,” the SB judge who handles this will again affirm there are two systems of justice here in The American Riviera, and money does indeed talk.
Let’s hope this is not the case; hold your breath.
More than twice the Legal Limit and she was not booked into County?
@LegendaryYeti, people are booked into county jail for lesser offenses, including drunk in public. The “sobering center” is special treatment at its best.
Ummm….cited but not arrested? You can receive an arrest citation. If she was transported toGoletaValleyto give blood she was arrested. She just hasn’t been booked. She will be required to to appear at the police station for mug shot and booking.
I don’t follow Cat Cora, nor am I an advocate for drunk driving, but it seems booking her in a sobering center fits the details as outlined in this news report (as she was ‘cited’ not ‘arrested.’).
I found this online (not much info on our localSoberingCenter, run by Thresholds to Recovery of Santa Maria).
From a Grand Jury report:
– Santa Barbara – 17 East Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
– Santa Maria – 812-A West Foster Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455
“One of the newer concepts in the management of public drunkenness is the establishment of Sobering Centers. Persons who have been apprehended for being drunk in public may be detained in aSoberingCenter, usually for six hours, then released. The expense of transporting them to theCountyJail, paying the booking fee and subsequently prosecuting them is thereby avoided. This saves the cities a significant amount of money.
“Persons who have been apprehended for being drunk in public can be admitted to theSoberingCenterseven times. On the eighth occasion, they are criminally prosecuted. Persons apprehended for the crimes of being drunk and disorderly or for drunk driving do not have the option of being admitted to theSoberingCenter. They are always prosecuted.
“This program is currently in effect in Santa Barbara(opened in March, 1994) and in Santa Maria(opened in December, 1994). The Santa Barbara City Police Department contracts out its SoberingCenterto the Threshold to Recovery organization.”
There was initial confusion Monday night over whether Cat Cora was cited or arrested for her alleged DUI. Police spokesperson Riley Harwood clarified Tuesday morning that, in cases like these, the department uses those terms interchangeably and that it is accurate to say either she was cited or she was arrested.
Its funny about the comments about two levels of justice since the only reason we are even talking about this is because she is a celebrity. Bit hypocritical?
I find it interesting she had .20 readings a good 30 minutes or later from the time she could have left Cold Springs (allowing for travel time). Is it possible to get to .20 from 3 beers consumed over some time (assuming she didn’t chug 3 beers in a row then get in car)?
Don, et al, I don’t think the average DUI suspect goes to the Sobering Center – usually it’s just straight to jail. I agree that booking her into theSoberingCenterinstead of theCountyJailwould appear to be special treatment for a celebrity. AsChester’s information would appear to show, I thought theSoberingCenterwas only for those arrested for public drunkeness, not for DUI.
My main point was that she was indeed arrested and will be prosecuted for DUI. The citation doesn’t mean she’s just being ticketed for a traffic infraction, as I think some in Internetland may interpret it. All the citation does is give her a court date for her initial appearance, and it’s exactly what the jail would have given her at the time of her release had she been booked into the jail.
Tyler, I think Sgt. Harwood was trying to tell you that the defendant was arrested for DUI, given a citation, and booked into theSoberingCenter. The real story is not the citation, and I wouldn’t focus on it – the real story is why she wasn’t booked into theCountyJailafter she was arrested.
A suspected drunk driver, depending on the circumstances surrounding his or her case and arrest, is either booked into County Jail or admitted to the Sobering Center.
In the DUI round-up mentioned in the story, three of the suspects (including Cora) were taken to the Sobering Center while the other three were driven to jail. It doesn’t appear the SBPD gave Cora any special treatment.
Thanks for reading,
NEWSFLASH: She was unknown to most people until now.
OK,Tyler, admitting her into theSoberingCenteras opposed to booking her intoCountyJailwasn’t special treatment, since [per the PD news release] two other DUI suspects were admitted to theSoberingCenteras well. In my day DUI suspects went to jail, period.
In any event, the citation is irrelevant.
If she hires Daryl Genis to represent her, we may see another SB-based “reality” show.
These two online resources significantly challenge Cora’s claim of 3 bottles of beer at Cold Spring Tavern just prior to the accident (report says she tested .19 or .20).
Phoenix House chart: http://www.factsontap.org/factsontap/…
– Woman, 140 pounds, 3 drinks in an hour:
BAC of .11
Universityof Oklahoma Police Department BACcalculator:http://www.ou.edu/oupd/bac.htm
– 140 pound person, 3 beers in first hour:
BAC of .08
The most remarkable thing about drunk drivers is the premeditation factor. They know they are going to get drunk, and after this decision, they fail to secure a designated driver/cab.
I love Cat Cora, she’s my favorite Iron Chef! I’m sad that she made this bad choice and so glad that nobody was harmed. I’m very disappointed that she chose to drink and drive and grateful that she added a message to the article accepting responsibility and saying she will never do it again. That’s a step in the right direction for sure!
To rule out special treatment, one would have to know (ask?) why the other three people where not driven to the sobering center.
It rather appears that not one person, but three people got special treatment.
Does the grand jury report, cited above, from 1996 still apply today?
“It would be interesting if the statistics for drunk driving arrests and convictions were posted publicly ….
I say this because it would be interesting to find out the comparative impacts the casino, the wine bars, tasting events, and regular taverns have on public safety.”
Here’s the problem, billclausen. The statistics would only reflect where the cops establish DUI check points or where they lurk looking for drunks on the road. Such statistics may will not reflect actual drunk driving.
Will she hire a super lawyer from “the league of extraordinary DUI defense attorneys”?
SezMe is correct.
But casual observance causes me to suspect the drunk driving quantities along with other distracted driving problems are much worse and unquantifiable without hiring a lot more objective police. The subjectivity of police locally is that of someone looking for a friend to donate to their non-profit cause PAL and/or public relations TV show On Patrol. Training bar owners and employees, baby sitting their establishments along with non-profits like Old Spanish Days is delicate balance just ripe for systemic corruption.
You have a rather high numbers of sportsman motorcycle riders, high-performance hot-rodders, booming cruisers amongst chatty environmental texters and inattentive yackety yaks nose pickers all in the context of communities where children are supposed to ride bicycles and skip to school yards past front porch communities. Its all rather incongruous.
Tyler Hayden has made some clarifications and others have countered. I’ll have to pay closer attention to on patrol but I don’t recall a dui’er ever offered the sobriety center on the TV. Could be but I don’t recall.
So TMZ jumped on board with video taken in the moments right after the fender bender which does the Iron Chef no favors.
Nice job by the Independent in being cautious with the wording in their reporting of the initial story and spotting the item as it was tucked away in the initial report.
They should be going after the dead beat people and give them DUI.s I would drop the case and give her a break.