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Mugshot of celeb chef Cat Cora released after DUI citation

July 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM ET

Santa Barbara Police Department /
In this image provided by the Santa Barbara Police Department, chef Cat Cora is seen in a police booking photo taken June 28, 2012 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Celebrity chef Cat Cora was ready for her closeup after a recent DUI citation.

Cora looks camera-ready in the mugshot recently released by the Santa Barbara Police Department, and it’s no surprise considering the photo was taken 11 days after she was stopped by police.

This comes nearly a month after Cora was cited for driving under the influence after a minor traffic accident in her hometown of Santa Barbara on June 17. Cora, 45, is scheduled to be arraigned on July 26 on one count of driving under the influence and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. She provided two breath samples on the scene that measured 0.20 and 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of .08. She also provided a blood sample at nearby Goleta Valley Hospital that night that registered 0.19, according to police.  

Story: Food Network chef Cat Cora cited for DUI

With her hair done and a composed look in her mugshot, one of the stars of the Food Network’s "Iron Chef America" and the co-host of Bravo’s "Around the World in 80 Plates" looks much better than the average person following an arrest. The reason is a California law that afforded Cora some time to prepare for the photo.

Cora was taken to the Sobering House in Santa Barbara and not to jail on the night of her arrest, so she did not have to take a mugshot that night, according to SBPD spokesman Sgt. Riley Harwood. The Sobering House is a place where cooperative, non-violent people who have been arrested for DUI are taken to sober up before being released.

By law, Cora had up until the date of her arraignment on July 26 to come in and get her mugshot taken, which explains the 11-day lag between the incident and the photo, according to Harwood.

On Wednesday, Cora, who has no prior DUI arrests, 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."

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. 

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