The Santa Barbara Police Department has released the booking photo of celebrity chef and area resident Cat Cora taken 11 days after she was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
According to police, Cora caused a minor fender-bender June 17 on upper State Street as she was returning from Cold Spring Tavern. Cora, 45, failed field sobriety tests and blew a 0.19 and 0.20 during two breathalyser tests. A blood sample taken soon after registered her blood-alcohol level at 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
Cora was issued an arrest citation and transported to the Sobering Center on East Haley Street, where cooperative, non-violent DUI suspects are sometimes taken in lieu of County Jail. She is charged with one DUI count and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, and her arraignment in scheduled for July 26.
A day after Cora's arrest was first reported by The Santa Barbara Independent, celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a video that shows her moments after the accident. The footage was reportedly taken by the driver she hit — who wasn't injured — as evidence Cora was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Cora issued this statement to the Independent via her publicist: “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.”