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John Giumarra III had BAC more than twice the legal limit night of fatal crash, report says


John Giumarra III at his arraignment Monday on a felony hit-and-run charge stemming from a fatal crash earlier this year.

The blood alcohol content of John Giumarra III was more than twice the state's legal limit the night he drove north of downtown Bakersfield and collided with a bicyclist who later died, a police report says. 

Giumarra, a member of a prominent farming family who was on probation for an earlier drunken driving incident, had a blood alcohol level of 0.18, according to a probable cause declaration filed in court. The legal limit is 0.08.

Giumarra, 48, told police he believed he hit something in the roadway, according to the report. Police noticed a smell of alcohol coming from Giumarra and had him perform a breath test, then arrested him.

Police said Giumarra was driving in the 1600 block of Golden State Avenue when he collided with a bicyclist around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 16. He left the scene, according to police, and was found at a Mobil station on F Street.

The bicyclist, Angela Holder, 32, died the next day at Kern Medical Center.

Giumarra pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony hit-and-run charge and two misdemeanor DUI charges. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

Police requested felony DUI charges, but District Attorney Lisa Green said those charges were not filed because Giumarra didn't commit an "independent unlawful act" other than driving while impaired that caused Holder's death.

In 2015, Giumarra pleaded no contest to a "wet and reckless" charge after police found him under the influence in a vehicle parked in the driveway of his home. The charge carries much the same penalties as a DUI.

Giumarra is a member of the family that runs Giumarra Vineyards Corporation, which packs and ships California table grapes and is headquartered just east of Bakersfield.

The next hearing in the case is set for Aug. 16. 

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