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Carpinteria City Councilman Joe Armendariz Pleads No Contest to DUI Charge

His attorney says he faces jail time and probation after driving under the influence and crashing his vehicle on Highway 101

Carpinteria City Councilman Joe Armendariz pleaded no contest Wednesday via his attorney to charges of driving under the influence.

Carpinteria City Councilman Joe Armendariz
Carpinteria City Councilman Joe Armendariz

Armendariz was charged with driving under the influence after crashing his vehicle on Dec. 2, 2011, on Highway 101 near Padaro Lane. Test results showed his blood-alcohol level was 0.18 at the time of the wreck, more than twice the legal limit, according to police.

It was his second arrest on suspicion of DUI since he has been on the City Council.

Last month, the council stripped Armendariz of his committee assignments, publicly reprimanded him for his conduct and asked him to resign.

Armendariz has said he intends to serve out the rest of his term, ending this year, and will not seek re-election.

His attorney, Elizabeth O’Brien, said Armendariz won’t be doing community service at high schools, but the hope is that he’ll be involved with a program called Friday Night Live.

“This program is where defendants of DUI are actually sentenced in front of a group of high school students so they can learn the real consequences of driving under the influence,” she said.

It’s a voluntary program, and Armendariz’s participation in it would not give him a lower sentence.

Armendariz has not been sentenced yet, and O’Brien said a standard disposition for a second DUI in Santa Barbara County is three years of probation and 45 days in jail.

“Mr. Armendariz could do actual custody time or apply for one of the Sheriff’s Department’s alternative sentencing alternatives,” she said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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