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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 4:45 am | Fair 48º


Arraignment on Felony DUI Charges Continued for Soap Opera Actress Jensen Buchanan

With an alcohol-monitoring device on her ankle, a soap opera actress showed up Wednesday morning at a Santa Maria courtroom, where her arraignment hearing on drunken driving charges was continued.

Jensen Buchanan, 53, appeared before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Kelly, who ordered the actress to return at 8:30 a.m. July 29 for a continued arraignment hearing.

Buchanan did not enter a plea to the charges, which include felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and felony driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or greater. 

She also is charged with causing great bodily injury to Bradley Asolas, 56, of Camarillo, and an allegation her blood-alcohol level exceeded .15 percent.

Court documents allege Buchanan was driving with a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit when the crash occurred about 6:20 a.m. May 18. 

On Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Dix asked the judge to include as a condition of her $100,000 bail a requirement that Buchanan must wear an electronic-monitoring device since her blood-alcohol level after the crash measured .34 percent. 

Buchanan was driving a Mercedes S550 east on Highway 154 when her vehicle drifted across the double yellow line directly into the path of a westbound Ford C-Max on Highway 154 near the Live Oak Camp entrance, according to the California Highway Patrol

Firefighters had to extricate Asolas, the driver of the other vehicle, from his wrecked Ford after he received critical injuries in the head-on collision, the CHP said.

Buchanan’s attorney, Dmitry Gorin, agreed to the condition, and noted that his client was voluntarily wearing electronic-monitoring equipment and has enrolled in a residential treatment program. 

(Jensen Buchanan)

“We’re taking this case very seriously,” Gorin said outside the courtroom, adding that Buchanan's live-in treatment program and agreement to wear the monitoring equipment demonstrate her commitment to sobriety. “We feel this is a horrible tragedy. We hope to make full restitution before the case is over.”

In the courtroom, Gorin objected to granting permission for media to take pictures of his client, saying it was too early in the case and that he was trying to protect his client's right to a fair trial.

Kelly denied media requests, but said she planned to grant permission for the next hearing. 

Buchanan was a cast member on several soap operas during her career, starting in 1987, according to her IMDB page. Last year, she appeared on The Young and the Restless.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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