KEYT news anchor and local personality Paula Lopez was arrested Sunday night for driving under the influence of alcohol and assaulting an officer after she allegedly drove the wrong way on Highway 101 near El Capitan Road.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that calls came in about a silver Toyota Prius traveling southbound in the northbound traffic lanes at about 8 p.m. Sunday night. CHP and Sheriff’s deputies responded and found the Prius parked at the Sandpiper Golf Course parking lot in Goleta. Deputies found Lopez was the driver of the Prius and was under the influence of alcohol, CHP reported.
Lopez, who is 50 and anchors for KEYT’s affiliate KCOY, physically resisted the officers, according to authorities, and she was arrested for battery on a peace officer and DUI. She was booked in County Jail and her bail was set at $5,000. She is expected to be released Monday afternoon.
In July 2013, Lopez was arrested for public intoxication. Earlier that year, she went missing, and the Sheriff’s Office dispatched a helicopter and two K-9 units to find her. She was found safe and went home with her family the same day. Deputies also responded to her house twice that year for two welfare checks, but took no enforcement action.
Lopez has spoken publicly about her struggle with alcoholism. Two years ago, she said she sought treatment and has dealt with anxiety and depression for many years. Lopez is married to former Judge Frank Ochoa, who stepped down from the bench in January. Calls to the news station and Ochoa were not immediately returned.