The District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that six misdemeanor charges have been filed against local celebrity and TV anchor Paula Lopez after she allegedly drove drunk the wrong way on the freeway and resisted a peace officer during the arrest last month.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP), working with Sheriff’s personnel, tracked down Lopez’s silver Toyota Prius at the Sandpiper Golf Course parking lot in Goleta after calls came in about the car traveling southbound in the northbound traffic lanes at about 8 p.m. on September 6. Lopez, who is 50 and anchored the evening news for KCOY, an affiliate of KEYT, allegedly had a blood alcohol content of at least twice the legal limit, according to the DA’s office.
Lopez kicked two officers, resisted arrest, and refused to take a Breathalyzer test, according to the CHP. Her blood was later drawn. Lopez was released from custody the following day on her own recognizance because, among other factors, she was not determined to be a flight risk and has ties to the community, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Deputy District Attorney handling the case will be John Savnoch. The case will be heard in South County unless the judge disqualifies him or herself, according to District Attorney Joyce Dudley. Because Lopez is charged with misdemeanors, she does not need to appear in court in person. She is scheduled to be arraigned on October 19. The six misdemeanor counts include driving with a blood alcohol content of over .08, resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer, two counts of battery on a peace officer, and one additional count of battery. Her blood alcohol content was allegedly more than .15 and, according to the district attorney’s office, she refused a chemical test.