Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

H.S. Cheerleading Coach Caught Drunk-Driving With Cheerleader in Car, at Cheerleading Camp

Around 7 p.m. Sunday night, Sacramento State University campus police were alerted to an erratic driver on campus. At 7:33 p.m., according to Sonoma State spokesperson Paul Gullixson, a car struck a tree on campus. The driver of that car was Roseville High School cheer coach Gabriella Vega, whose blood alcohol level at the time was 0.25 -- more than three times the legal limit. Also in the car with her was a 17-year-old student, who school district spokesperson John Becker said needed a ride back to the campus dorms because she wasn't able to walk back.

The pair were attending a cheer camp on Sonoma State's campus. It was the first night of the four-day camp.

Be Sober; Be, Be, Sober -- B-E S-O-B-E-R

Vega was a second-year off-campus coach, according to the Roseville Joint Union High School District, making a stipend of $3,692 per season. She has since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. She was arrested and charged with driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 percent, and release on $10,000 bail. Gullixson said there were no injuries in the accident -- only minor damage to the car.

A parent-chaperone on the trip contacted the Roseville's administration, and parents came to pick up the 34 students from the camp on Monday. "Roseville High School administration will be meeting with students and parents to discuss next steps for the program," said a letter sent to parents following Vega's arrest. "The safety and security of students remains our number one priority. We will continue to refine and reinforce our expectations regarding the conduct of our coaches."

Call and (No) Response

District spokesperson Becker said Vega has not responded to calls or text messages from the district office yet, but has messaged students and their families. "They were messages of apology," he told Sacramento's KCRA, "'please learn from my mistake' ... A lot of regret and remorse and contrition. A lot of owning up. She just really wanted the girls to know how sorry she was."

KCRA also reports that the 22-year-old Vega was part of Sacramento State's cheerleading team, but she was removed from the team for an unspecified reason a few years ago, and is no longer affiliated with the university or its cheer program.

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