San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ex-Miss Costa Rica arrested for alleged DUI

Traffic Police arrested former Miss Costa Rica Merylin Villalta on a drunken driving charge Sunday night. Authorities said Villalta was driving with a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal rate.

The 32-year-old beauty queen hit another car in Cartago, east of San José, at 7 p.m. Sunday. Following the accident Traffic Police gave Villalta a breathalyzer test. Her result showed a blood-alcohol level of 1.39 grams, when the legal limit is 0.5 grams.

Villalta had a court date Monday morning. She could face one to three years of prison time, although community service is more likely than a jail sentence. Villalta was crowned Miss Costa Rica in 2002.

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