Paula Lopez facing four months in jail
April 23, 2016
Former news anchor Paula Lopez Ochoa pled no contest Friday to one count of driving under the influence, two counts of delaying or resisting a peace officer, one count of refusing a chemical test, and one count of battery on a peace officer in a agreement in which she will spend 120 days in the Santa Barbara County Jail.
As part of the plea agreement, Lopez is required to abstain from alcohol for three years, obey all laws, attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week for three years, attend counseling and take the anti-alcohol drug Antabuse for three years. If she violates the terms of the agreement, she faces three years in jail.
Ochoa is expected to report to Santa Barbara County Jail by July 22. However, there is a possibility the county sheriff’s office will allow her to wear a monitoring bracelet instead of serving jail time.
Ochoa, who was a longtime news anchor for KEYT and KCOY, is married to retired Santa Barbara County judge Frank Ochoa. Frank Ochoa stepped down from the bench last year.
On the evening of Sept. 6, Paula Ochoa drove her Toyota Prius the wrong way on Highway 101. Sheriff’s deputies then found the Prius parked at a golf course in Goleta. When a sheriff’s deputy and a CHP officer tried to arrest her, she assaulted the officers.
Prosecutors said Ochoa drove with a blood alcohol content above .15 on the evening of her arrest. She refused to submit to a chemical test.
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.