13 hit as they look at holiday lights; driver has DUI history, no license


A Los Angeles man suspected of driving under the influence in a crash that left more than a dozen people injured in Alhambra on Sunday night has a history of driving under the influence and wasn’t licensed to drive, records show.

Ismael Soto, 28, is being held in lieu of $130,000 bail after allegedly hitting two cars that then struck 13 people looking at Christmas lights in a residential neighborhood at about 8:30 p.m., police said.

Soto was booked on suspicion of drunk driving and is due in court Wednesday.

According to state records, Soto shouldn’t have been driving at all. Soto’s license was revoked in November 2013, the DMV said.


Soto’s license was suspended for more than a month last year for driving with a blood alcohol above .08 – the legal limit in California – and for driving with a suspended license in October 2012, DMV records show.

After the suspension was lifted, Soto lost it again months later.

In November 2013, his license was suspended and ultimately revoked after he was in a car accident and was found to be driving while drunk, records show.

Records also show Soto was required at one point to have an interlock device installed on his vehicle so he couldn’t start his car with alcohol in his system.

Alhambra police said Sunday’s accident occurred near Fremont Avenue and Poplar Boulevard. Soto was allegedly driving a truck when he crossed over a solid yellow line into southbound lanes and collided into two parked vehicles, which were occupied, said Sgt. Joseph Mallette.

The vehicles then struck the group of pedestrians, who were standing on the sidewalk, he said.

Eleven people were taken to a hospital, and one of the injured remained in intensive care Monday, Mallette said. All of the victims are expected to survive.


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