Former Councilmember Popped for DUI, Hit & Run

Iya Falcone Arrested on Wednesday Morning on Mesa

Former Santa Barbara City Councilmember Iya Falcone was issued a citation for driving under the influence and another for hit-and-run in connection with a minor fender bender at a Mesa parking lot that took place 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

According to a statement issued by the Santa Barbara Police Department, Falcone registered a 0.23 blood alcohol level; 0.08 is the legal limit. Police were called after a witness saw Falcone bump her car into that of another car in the parking lot by Mesa’s Taco Bell and then walk away.

Iya Falcone
Paul Wellman

Police claim Falcone left the scene of the collision — no one was hurt and the two cars sustained only minor damage — without leaving her contact information on the struck car. Falcone disputed the hit-and-run charge, stating said she fully intended to leave that info but had ordered a meal to go first.

Falcone said she’d had a couple of glasses of wine. “I made a stupid mistake. I’m sorry. I apologized to everyone involved,” she said. “It won’t happen again.”

Falcone ran unsuccessfully for reelection to the City Council last year after a two-year hiatus from the council. She served two council terms before that, where she staked out the middle ground as a tough-talking moderate Democrat who enjoyed strong backing from the city’s police and firefighters unions. She entered the mayoral race three years ago, shortly after her husband, Vince Falcone, died of a massive heart attack, but that effort fizzled when she failed to collect enough valid signatures for her candidate’s petition to qualify for the ballot.

Falcone’s first scheduled court date takes place October 25.


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