News anchor Paula Lopez arrested for public intoxication

July 31, 2013
Paula Lopez

Paula Lopez

Veteran KEYT news anchorwoman Paula Lopez was arrested Monday afternoon near her Santa Barbara home on suspicion of public intoxication. [Noozhawk]

Lopez, 48, was taken into custody by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies on North San Marcos Road at Via Piccolo in the unincorporated area of the county at approximately 4:30 p.m. She was later released with a citation to appear in court. The case will be forwarded to the district attorney for review.

The misdemeanor charge follows an incident last February when Lopez was reported missing by family members, prompting an intense search near her home west of Santa Barbara. She was safely reunited with her family later that day.

Lopez co-anchors the 11 p.m. broadcast on KEYT, which is the ABC affiliate on the Central Coast. She is married to Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa and they have three children.

KEYT management had no comment on the arrest.



if you were to travel to Newport Beach, stand in your driveway with a beer in your hand…that is public intoxication. i’m sure more details will come out, but HEADLINES ARE HEADLINES


BS. If you stand in your own driveway, you are on private property, which sort of blows the whole “public” part out of the water. If you step foot onto a public sidewalk, however, you are toast.


not BS. ask Shel Silverstein where the sidewalk ends. we’re talking about fine lines and that is the point


Ever been to one of the hundreds of wine events in SB or SLO county? Police could write “drunk-in-public” citations by the dozens. And, btw, I don’t know about SB, but SLO County is a Zero Tolerance county. So you can get a “wet and reckless” ticket driving with anything over 0% alcohol in your blood. And, if you get a DUI within 10 years of that ticket they’ll magically convert it to your first DUI. Double the fines, double the classes, double your chances of going to jail (if you get a “third”).


Unless of course your a police officers, if those cases you get a ride home from a another officer, no field sobriety checks, so anything found out by the public can be thrown out if it is ever forced to go to court and it is quietly covered up or at least it is attempted to be.


” SLO County is a Zero Tolerance county. So you can get a “wet and reckless” ticket driving with anything over 0% alcohol in your blood.”

Unless you are talking about people under 21, that is a BS myth that people keep repeating. It was probably started by some anti-alcohol crusader. There is no such thing as a “zero tolerance county”. I challenge anyone to show me the city or county ordinance that says otherwise. The DUI limit for people over 21 is the same here as it is in the rest of the state: .08%

If you don’t believe me, Capt Staley from SLOPD has gone on record saying the same thing: :

“Citations for driving under the influence (DUI) are also common, Staley said. But San Luis Obispo’s rumored “zero-tolerance policy” — supposedly putting those 21 and older at the same risk for a DUI as minors — is a myth.

“Lots of rumors get started out there that have no valid basis,” Staley said.

The city enforces the same laws that apply throughout California: 0.08 percent blood alcohol content is the legal limit for those 21 and older, unless the driver shows serious signs of being impaired.”


You know, it ain’t nobody’s business what she does on her own personal time. How does Paula Lopez having a few drinks off the clock affect you and your puritanical ways one bit? It doesn’t! She wasn’t driving or endangering the public in any way. I bet the majority of the people in this county have gotten drunk enough to get a public intoxication citation at least once in your life.


I don’t know the circumstances and agree that it is none of my business as long as she does it quietly and without endangering anyone. That said, cops don’t usually write tickets for public intoxication unless someone becomes unruly or a danger to themselves and others. (Unless some cop has a bone to pick with her — or her hubby.)


but wait there are never bones to pick, grudges or axes to grind by public officials, but at least that is what some people tells us as they state that those of us who use alias here are chicken to give our real names. What term does that certain person use, anoyomice (sp?)


You’re right that it really is none of our business unless their was a public safety issue — to Lopez or others.

You simply don’t have the information to state “endangering the public in any way” (including herself) with any credibility.


Something appears to be causing her a great deal of pain, enough to want to numb it with alcohol. I sincerely hope she gets help.

Spirit Filled

Maybe she is an alcoholic like I am. Mad, happy, sad, or afraid doesn’t matter at all. Laughing or crying, booze is booze. Don’t need a reason to drink for us. We will make up a reason if that’s what you need to hear. Time for her to quit the poison before it kills her or someone else. Or both. God bless her and those who love her. Blessings.


add in angry


I always thought the “spirit” you were filled with was something other than the Deity, but then a again, He turned water to wine.


Good evening Santa Barbara here is the news…hiccup


So she enjoys a drink or two? Big F. Deal. I do not think any less of her. In fact, I might have more respect for her now, because she obviously likes to cut loose and party a bit.

The fact that she was arrested for public intoxication near her home sounds she was a victim of shady and abusive police tactics. Exactly how near her home was she? A typical dirty cop trick is to invite someone who has had a few of drinks to walk over and talk to them just off their property. As soon as they step foot onto the public sidewalk, the cop nabs them for public intoxication. Dirty cops do this at college parties all the time.

The purpose of a public intoxication charge is to detain someone who is intoxicated enough in public to pose a danger to themselves or others and could not get home safely. It is an abuse of the law to arrest someone for public intoxication right next to their house or if they are close enough to easily walk home.


Cash cow ? ( I know…politically incorect term as applied to a woman. Forgive me. )

Celebrity ?

Are these chi-chi supercops angling for a ‘score’ ?

Don’t know her; but if she wasn’t driving, causing a disturbance, or endangering anyone…WTF ?


maybe she was tipping cows?


You are right about that being abusive but you are wrong about cops doing it routinely unless the drunks are young adults (gotta show them who is boss and stop them before they cause problems.) The other possibility is that either she or her husband, the judge, did something to annoy a particular cop and this is payback.

The most likely scenario, however, is that she actually was a danger to herself or other or that she was creating a big disturbance while drunk.


Sounds like she has a problem and needs some professional help. She has a tough battle in front of her and I wish her the best


Sad story, but being in denial will not help her. Please, you have children!


Kinda feel sorry for her…….. I hope she gets through all this ……I’m rooting rooting for you Paula and hope

things get better for you……….