Santa Barbara DA charges Paula Lopez
October 2, 2015
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has charged longtime local news anchor Paula Lopez Ochoa with six misdemeanors for an incident last month in which she allegedly drove under the influence and assaulted two officers. Ochoa, 50, has long been known as Paula Lopez.
On the evening of Sept. 6, Ochoa allegedly drove he Toyota Prius the wrong way on Highway 101. Ochoa was driving southbound in the northbound lanes near El Capitan State Beach.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies then discovered the Prius parked at a golf course in Goleta. Ochoa allegedly assaulted a sheriff’s deputy and a CHP officer while while they tried to arrest her.
Prosecutors said Ochoa drove with a blood alcohol content above .15 on the evening of her arrest. She refused an officer’s request to submit to a chemical test, according to a district attorney’s office press release.
On Thursday, prosecutors charged Ochoa with driving under the influence; driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content over .08; resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer; battery; and two counts of battery on a peace officer.
Ochoa was a longtime news anchor for KEYT and KCOY. She is married to former judge Frank Ochoa, who stepped down from the bench in January.
In July 2013, Ochoa was arrested near her Santa Barbara home on suspicion of public intoxication. Earlier that year, she was reported missing by her family, which prompted a brief, but intense search near her home.
Ochoa is scheduled to appear in court for her current case on Oct. 19.