Woman with DUI past accused in wild chase through San Francisco

Courtesy of NBC Bay AreaTraffic jammed: A car allegedly driven by Cerena Barros

A 23-year-old woman with three prior DUI convictions allegedly led the California Highway Patrol on a wild, drunken chase through the Mission district early Thursday, crashing twice and injuring a bicyclist.

After the 2 a.m. chase, Cerena Barros, of Santa Cruz, was arrested on multiple charges, including felony DUI causing injury, reckless driving and evading police, authorities said.

The incident began when CHP officers spotted Barros driving a 2004 Jeep Cherokee onto the Fourth Street highway ramp that was closed for construction, Officer Michael Ferguson said. Construction workers who were at the site were not injured as Barros reportedly continued westbound on Interstate 80.

The officers tried to get her to exit at Ninth Street, the CHP said, but she kept going and exited at Van Ness Avenue and Mission Street, where the pursuit on city streets began.

Barros struck a car at 15th and Natoma streets, pushing it into a man who was walking with a bicycle, according to the CHP. The man was hospitalized with minor injuries and his bicycle’s front tire was damaged.

Barros then reportedly fled the accident scene and crashed again at 17th and Mission streets, where she smashed into a parked car and a traffic control box, knocking out signals at the intersection.

“That basically stopped the car” and led to Barros’ arrest, Ferguson said.

While she walked away from the accident without injury, Barros was evaluated at San Francisco General Hospital.

Her blood-alcohol level tested above the 0.08 legal limit, Ferguson said.

Barros’ latest run-in with the law revealed a reckless past.

One of the current charges was for driving under the influence with three prior DUI convictions within 10 years, Ferguson said. Barros also was booked on charges of driving with a suspended license, possessing a controlled substance and driving under the influence of a controlled substance, said Susan Fahey, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Barros remained in custody Thursday afternoon on $226,000 bail, Fahey said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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