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Posted on 01.21.2014 9:20 a.m.

Santa Barbara Police Make 22 DUI Arrests in December, Several with High BACs

Source: Sgt. Riley Harwood for the Santa Barbara Police Department

In December, officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department made 22 arrests for driving under the influence violations.

Numerous arrests are made each month when concerned citizens call 9-1-1 after witnessing possible DUI drivers. The SBPD would like to thank the responsible citizens who take the time to call and report suspected drunken drivers.

The following is information on a few of last month’s cases.

» Dec. 4 at 8:06 a.m. — A 62-year-old man was stopped by officers in the 2900 block of State Street for driving with expired registration tabs in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 4000(a). One of the officers noticed the driver was displaying signs of intoxication. He stated that he had not consumed any alcohol as it was too early in the morning, but said he had been drinking the night before. An officer conducted a DUI investigation and determined that the driver was far too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle.

The driver was placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI, and he chose to submit to a blood test, which registered his BAC at .28 — more than three times the legal limit. He was issued a citation and admitted into the Sobering Center.

» Dec. 7 at 9:30 p.m. — A 23-year-old woman was involved in a collision when she rear-ended another vehicle in the 600 block of Anacapa Street. An officer arrived on scene and contacted the woman, who was the sole occupant of her vehicle. She stated that the car in front of her stopped at a green light, which caused her to rear -nd it. The officer noticed that the woman smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech. He conducted a DUI investigation, during which the woman stated that she had consumed three drinks in the three hours prior to driving.

The officer determined that she was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle and placed her under arrest on suspicion of DUI. She chose to submit to a blood test, which registered her BAC at .27 — more than three times the legal limit. She was booked into the County Jail.

» Dec. 25 at 9:58 p.m. — A 35-year-old man was involved in a single-vehicle collision when he struck a wooden utility pole in the area of Canada and Montecito streets. An officer arrived on scene and contacted the man, who admitted to driving the vehicle and colliding with the pole. The officer noticed that the driver was displaying signs of intoxication and conducted a DUI investigation. The man initially stated that he had consumed two to three beers but later stated he had consumed four to five beers at a party prior to driving.

The officer attempted to have the driver perform field sobriety tests, but he was too intoxicated to safely complete them. The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI, and he chose to submit to a breath test, which registered his BAC at .24 and .24 — three times the legal limit. The man was booked into the County Jail on charges of DUI and being an unlicensed driver.

» Dec. 29 at 5:42 p.m. — A 45-year-old man was observed driving his vehicle recklessly in the area of Cabrillo Boulevard and Anacapa Street. A citizen called 9-1-1 after he observed the driver almost collide with another vehicle and some pedestrians. The citizen then watched the man park his car and enter a restaurant. Officers arrived and contacted the citizen, who provided a description of the driver. As the citizen was speaking with the officers, the driver came out of the restaurant and saw the officers standing near his vehicle. He was positively identified as the driver of the car who had been driving recklessly.

He was contacted by the officers and was hostile and aggressive, prompting the officers to call for backup. The man denied driving but displayed signs of intoxication. The bartender at the restaurant stated that the man had been at a party there earlier in the day and had been “cut off” by the bartender due to his level of intoxication and the problems he was causing in the restaurant. One of the officers conducted a DUI investigation, determined that the man was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle and placed him under arrest. The man refused to submit to a chemical test, prompting the officer to get a search warrant to obtain a sample of his blood.

The man was transported to the County Jail, where a blood test was performed that registered his BAC at .17 — more than twice the legal limit. He was booked into the County Jail.

» Dec. 29 at 8:11 p.m. — A 43-year-old woman was involved in a traffic collision when she rear-ended another vehicle at State Street and Calle Real. Officers arrived on scene and from witness statements determined that the woman had rear-ended the other car. One witness stated that following the collision, the woman had backed her vehicle and appeared to be ready to flee when the witness reached in the car and removed her keys.

One of the officers conducted a DUI investigation, during which the woman stated that she had consumed one shot of peppermint schnapps prior to driving. She said the accident was caused by her act of texting while driving; she also admitted to not having automobile insurance. The officer determined that she was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle and placed her under arrest on suspicion of DUI. She chose to submit to a breath test, which registered her BAC at .34 and .33 — more than four times the legal limit. She was issued a citation for DUI, being an unlicensed driver, texting while driving and no proof of insurance, and was admitted into the Sobering Center.

» Dec. 29 at 11:49 p.m. — A 25-year-old man was stopped by an officer after failing to stop for six stop signs. The officer was driving in the area of Garden and De la Guerra streets when he first observed the man, who was traveling in the opposite direction, fail to stop for a stop sign. The officer turned around and while attempting to close the distance between his vehicle and the suspect vehicle, saw that the driver made a series of turns and at times went through stop-sign-controlled intersections without even slowing. The officer was finally able to stop the man in the 600 block of East Micheltorena Street.

When the officer contacted the driver, he immediately noticed that the driver appeared intoxicated.  He conducted a DUI investigation on the driver, who gave conflicting statements as to how much alcohol he had consumed, although he acknowledged that he felt intoxicated. The officer determined that the man was far too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle and placed him under arrest. He chose to submit to a blood test, which registered his BAC at .24 — three times the legal limit. He was issued a citation for DUI and admitted into the Sobering Center.

 — Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.




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