Former Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Iya Falcone pleaded no contest to DUI charges Monday morning and faces three years of probation but no jail time, despite the District Attorney’s Office recommendation that she serve some.
Falcone, 57, was arrested Sept. 19 after an incident in a parking lot on the Mesa, when officers responded to a report of a DUI driver who had been involved in a collision with a parked car.
They identified Falcone’s BMW as the suspect vehicle, and Falcone later registered a blood alcohol content of .24, three times the legal limit almost two hours after the incident, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
The District Attorney’s Office filed charges last month against Falcone for allegedly driving under the influence as well as driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or more.
Falcone was not in court on Monday, instead entering a plea through her attorney, Samuel Eaton.
In addition to three years of probation, she will have to attend nine months of alcohol school, two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week for 30 days and pay about $2,500 in fines. Her license will be suspended for 30 days, but she’ll be eligible for a restricted license on Nov. 10 if she follows the terms of her probation.
Prosecutor Gary Gemberling said his office had asked for jail time for Falcone because of the high blood alcohol level and the time of day the incident occurred, but that Judge James Herman had fashioned a different sentence for Falcone.
Eaton said Falcone’s sentence was consistent with what other people in her situation have received.
Because Falcone is a public figure, the court also felt she could be of benefit by giving four talks on the dangers of DUI, Eaton said.
“As she originally stated, this was a terrible error, she apologizes to the entire community, and assures that it will not happen again,” he told Noozhawk.