A drunk driving arrest can result in a number of potential consequences. For most drivers, the immediate penalties of a conviction include losing their license, expensive fines and fees, and a criminal sentence. However, for some individuals, the penalties include losing their job. A number of beauty pageant winners have lost their crown after getting arrested for a DUI.
For Caitlin Cifuentes, winning Miss Corpus Christi Latina was a dream come true. It is a preliminary pageant to Miss Texas Latina, which leads to Miss Latin America of the World. The pageant bills itself as focusing on role models rather than just models. The international competition began in 1981 in Mexico and has since spread to more than 30 countries. While Cifuentes was celebrating her win, other competitors were working to strip her of her title.
Six of her competitors filed a lawsuit to take away the title from Cifuentes. The basis of their lawsuit was based, in part, on Cifuentes' criminal record, which included a drunk driving arrest. Cifuentes was arrested after a DUI crash in 2013 that injured 4 people. As a result, she was charged with four counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor DUI. Cifuentes pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge and was given a 10-year deferred adjudication probationary sentence for a single aggravated assault charge.
After the lawsuit was filed, the president of Miss America Latina announced Cifuentes was no longer recognized as the winner. Acirema Alayeto, founder of the beauty pageant, said, “Cifuentes does not have the proper credentials to hold such a title.” However, Cifuentes says she was discriminated against, and believes that people can make a mistake and move on. She said she is “a leader for all women who have gone through tough times and did not feel like a beauty queen.”
Miss Washington USA also lost her crown after a DUI came to light. Stormy Keffeler was arrested for a DUI in 2015. Her blood alcohol tested between 0.252 and 0.229 percent, about three times the legal limit. She was stopped by police for driving on two flat tires. Officers said she smelled of alcohol and stumbled when she got out of the car.
Keffeler was crowned as the winner of the pageant in October and sentenced for her DUI five days later. After news of the conviction came out, she stepped down as Miss Washington USA. Co-executive producer of the pageant, Maureen Francisco, cautioned people against judging Keffeler for her arrest. “We all do stupid things,” said Francisco.
At Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people facing DUI charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands the law, and will make sure you get the justice you deserve. If you are charged with drunk driving, distracted driving or other criminal charges, contact the local East Bay criminal defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.