NORTH HOLLYWOOD : Charges Filed in Drunk-Driving Case

Los Angeles city prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a North Hollywood woman they say had a blood-alcohol level nearly six times the level at which drivers are declared legally drunk when her Cadillac crashed into a utility pole.

Jacqueline Freeman Ross, 41, was charged in a criminal complaint Monday with one count each of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit 0.08%. She is to be arraigned Monday in Van Nuys Municipal Court.

Ross was so drunk when arrested that she was incapable of taking a field sobriety test or a breath test later at the station, said Deputy City Atty. Martin Vranicar, head of the city attorney's criminal branch office in Van Nuys. He said a blood test later showed her blood-alcohol level to be 0.46%.

"Ordinarily, most individuals would be comatose at that blood-alcohol level," he said.

Mike Qualls, a spokesman for the city attorney's office, said the city keeps no statistics on the highest blood-alcohol levels of drivers. "But this is certainly among the worst we've ever had," Qualls said.

Because Ross has two prior convictions for drunk driving, she faces a mandatory sentence of four months in jail if convicted, Vranicar said.

Ross was arrested Nov. 27 near Riverside Drive and Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood after the 1987 Seville she was driving east on Riverside hit a power pole, Vranicar said.

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