On Oct. 14, soap opera actress Jensen Buchanan pleaded not guilty to drunk driving charges stemming from a crash that left a man critically injured earlier this year. The accident occurred around 6:20 a.m. on May 18 in Santa Barbara, California.
According to authorities, Buchanan, 54, was drunk when she crossed the double yellow line while driving eastbound on Highway 154 and smashed into an oncoming Ford C-Max. The driver of the Ford, a 56-year-old Camarillo man, was critically injured in the crash.
Buchanan is charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and felony driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or greater. She allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of .34 at the time of the crash, which is more than four times the legal limit. The judge ordered her to continue wearing an electronic alcohol monitor and remain in a sober-living program. Buchanan has been acting in soap operas for almost 30 years and has appeared on "Another World," "One Life to Live" and "The Young and the Restless."
California residents convicted on DUI charges could face prison time, heavy fines and the loss of their driving privileges. However, with the help of a criminal defense attorney, they could fight the allegations and protect their future. In some cases, an attorney may be able to dispute the accuracy of blood-alcohol or field sobriety tests, which could lead to the charges being dropped. In other circumstances, legal counsel may recommend negotiating with prosecutors for a plea bargain that allows the defendant to plead guilty to reduced charges.
Source: Noozhawk, "Soap Actress Jensen Buchanan Pleads Not Guilty In DUI Crash Case," Janene Scully, Oct. 14, 2016