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Mother of Septuplets Charged With Drunken Driving

July 2, 1987

BARSTOW, Calif. (AP) _ Patti Frustaci, who gave birth to septuplets two years ago, has been charged with drunken driving following her arrest last month on a highway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nev., officials say.

The three surviving septuplets were with Mrs. Frustaci when she was arrested on Interstate 15 on June 22.

Mrs. Frustaci, 32, of Riverside, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, officials said. The legal limit in California is 0.10 percent.

Charges of misdemeanor drunken driving and misdemeanor driving with a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.10 percent were filed Wednesday, said San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Chuck Phillips.

Mrs. Frustaci could face a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted on both counts, Phillips said.

The California Highway Patrol had recommended charges of child endangerment, but Phillips said prosecutors declined because there were no injuries and no evidence of willful endangerment.

Mrs. Frustaci told officers she had quarreled with her husband, Sam, and had left Las Vegas with the children. But she apparently decided to return to Nevada, where her husband was working, and her van became stuck in sand on Interstate 15′s center divider, officials said.

The seven Frustaci babies were born prematurely May 21, 1985, after Mrs. Frustaci received the fertility drug Pergonal. Four of the infants were either stillborn or died shortly after birth.

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