An attorney for Carpinteria City Councilmember Joe Armendariz entered a no contest plea Wednesday morning on the councilmember’s behalf to a charge of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. The charge related to a crash on December 2 in Carpinteria.

Armendariz will likely be sentenced in the coming weeks in a program designed to teach teenagers about the dangers of drunk driving. He was approached by the District Attorney’s Office about the possibility of being sentenced in a more public way, in front of an assembly of local teenagers, so that “they can understand the dangers and the real consequences of driving under the influence,” said Armendariz attorney Elizabeth O’Brien.

While the sentencing might take place in a gymnasium as opposed to the courtroom, everything about the hearing would be the same, and Armendariz will receive the same sentence he would’ve received as a repeat DUI offender.

Armendariz was arrested for DUI in December after he failed to negotiate his car on a curve on Highway 101 and plunged off the road into a tree. His blood-alcohol level was later found to be 0.18.

It was Armendariz’s second DUI incident in five years.

Last month, the Carpinteria City Council voted to officially ask Armendariz to resign and to strip him of his committee assignments. Armendariz has said he will not resign and will serve out the remainder of his term, which goes through this year.


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