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When I heard that another celebrity had gotten a DUI, I immediately assumed it was Lindsay Lohan. Surprisingly, that was not the case this time. No, it wasn’t Mel Gibson, either.
I never would have guessed celebrity chef Cat Cora. You know, the only female Iron Chef on the popular cooking show Iron Chef America? The pretty, petite one who never smiles?
Upon learning she received a DUI, I couldn’t help but think, “What, did she have two beers?” Cora, 44, is maybe a buck-ten – maybe. But regardless of how much it took to bring her over the legal limit of .08, the point is, she was over it, and she was behind the wheel.
Cora has fully admitted to her fault, issuing a public statement 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.”
Cora was able to avoid jail time by striking a plea deal with prosecutors. She agreed to plead “no contest” to driving with above the legal limit of alcohol in her system and was sentenced to three years probation, nine months of DUI school, and ordered to pay $2,386 in fines.
Cora was arrested in Santa Barbara after blowing a .19 and admitting to drinking – ready for this? – three beers. Police was called to the scene to arrest her after a concerned driver called to report that Cora was driving “insane” and yelling after she rear-ended a car. The driver suggested hat Cora may be drunk and requested the police issue her a breathalyzer.
When the 911 operator asked the caller why they thought Cora may be drunk, and the caller responded, “She's just been very aggressive. There was a red light and she was just driving insane. I was told by a few other cars passing nearby that ‘you'd better call 911 because she's been wavering all over the road.’” The caller even called back and expressed concern that Cora would try to flee the scene.
Cora obviously did not flee, however, and has taken responsibility for her poor decision.
Cora is best known for her stint on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and for co-hosting Around the World in 80 Plates on Bravo. She is also the editor for Bon Appétit magazine and a UNICEF spokesperson.