July 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM ET
Updated July 11: Cat Cora has released a statement through her publicist, saying, "I deeply regret my decision to drive that evening after my designated driver became unavailable. I learned a very important lesson from this experience and take full accountability for my actions. This will never happen again."
Celebrity chef Cat Cora was cited for driving under the influence after a minor traffic incident in her hometown of Santa Barbara, Calif., local authorities confirmed to TODAY.com.
She is scheduled to be arraigned on July 26, and is being charged with one count of DUI and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher, Santa Barbara Sergeant Riley Harwood told TODAY.com.
Cora, 45, is best known for her role as an Iron Chef on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and as the co-host of Bravo's “Around the World in 80 Plates.” Cora is raising four children with her longtime partner, Jennifer Cora.
On June 17, while returning from the Cold Spring Tavern in Santa Barbara after what she told police was an argument with her partner, she rear-ended another vehicle at 6:15 p.m. at a low speed in her 2007 Chevy Tahoe, Harwood said. No one suffered any injuries, but the female driver of the 2001 BMW 325i told officers who came to the scene that she believed Cora was intoxicated. Cora told police she had consumed three bottles of beer at the tavern.
Cora’s blood-alcohol level was determined to be .20 and .19 from two breath samples taken at the scene, according to the report. Cora also had a blood sample taken at Goleta Valley Hospital shortly afterward that measured her BAC at .19, more than twice the legal limit.
Cora was cited for DUI and taken to the Sobering Center in Santa Barbara, where non-violent, cooperative people are sent until they sober up and are released. She has no prior DUI citations in Santa Barbara.
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