Iowa: Two Des Moines WHO TV reporters busted for OWI in 2 days; news anchor Sonya Heitshusen guilty

Polk County Sheriff

 TV News Anchors, reporters, broadcasters by the dozen busted for drunk driving across America

Sonya Heitshusen WHO TV anchor OWI Polk County Iowa Jail

Sonya Heitshusen WHO TV anchor OWI Polk County Iowa Jail


From FTVLive

Seems like more and more TV news people are getting busted for DUI these days. But this is the first time that we know of that two on air talent from the same station are arrested for driving drunk in the span of 2 days.

WHO (Des Moines) Reporter Sonya Heitshusen, charged with first-offense OWI





Eric Wheater WHO TV reporter OWI Polk County Jail

and driving on the wrong side of the street early Saturday morning.

The day before, WHO Reporter Erik Wheater, 25, was charged with first-offense OWI early Friday morning.

Police pulled over the vehicle Wheater was driving near Second and Court avenues for not having a front license plate, authorities said.

Heitshusen, 47, of Des Moines was stopped shortly after 1 a.m. near Fifth Avenue and Walnut Street.

She at first refused to exit her vehicle and refused any field sobriety tests or a preliminary breath test, authorities said.

Heitshusen had bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and swayed and staggered as she stood, according to Des Moines police reports.

At the Des Moines police station, she stumbled and had to use the wall of the OWI testing room for balance and appeared to fumble and have trouble using her phone when she tried to place calls, police reports show.

Heitshusen again refused to take a breath test and was taken to the Polk County Jail, authorities said.

As for Wheater, cops say he seemed unsteady on his feet and fumbled looking for his license, registration and insurance, according to police reports. He failed several field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed a .125 percent blood alcohol level. ….MORE

Both WHO TV news reporters plead guilty to impaired driving

From Des Moines Register:

A long-time Des Moines television reporter and anchor arrested for drunk driving over the summer has pleaded guilty to the charge, court records show.

Sonya Heitshusen, a WHO-TV reporter, entered a plea agreement for the charge of first-offense operating while intoxicated. The charge, to which she originally entered a not-guilty plea, stemmed from a June 7 incident.

The court agreed to statutory minimums of the charge and waived probation if Heitshusen attends a 48-hour operating while intoxicated course and pays fines, her attorney Colt Moss said Tuesday.

Heitshusen, 47, of Des Moines, was pulled over near downtown Des Moines’ entertainment district around 1 a.m. driving the wrong way down a street, authorities said. Police said she at first refused to exit her vehicle, then had ….MORE


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Mark Mullins Indianapolis TV reporter busted for OWI in Indy driving his BMW

An Indianapolis newscaster was arrested in Downtown Indianapolis early Saturday morning and charged with drunken driving.

Marc Mullins, an anchor at WRTV-6, was driving a silver BMW when he was pulled over at about 2 a.m., after he made an illegal turn at the intersection of Meridian and Washington streets, according to a report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

According to the report, the officer said that he “observed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage” on Mullins and coming from his vehicle.

Mullins, 38, was given an initial field breath test and registered a blood alcohol content of .072, the report said, slightly under the level of 0.08 at which a driver in Indiana is considered to be legally drunk.

Police then transported Mullins to where a certified breath machine was located.

After several attempts, Mullins then registered a BAC of 0.113 and was arrested and initially charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

He was taken into custody by Marion County Sheriff’s deputies ….MORE

From Bringmethenews

WDAY-TV reporter Kiersten “Kay” Cooley was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Minnesota on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, Forum News Service reports.

Kiersten Cooley DUI arrest for Fargo TV reporter

The 25-year-old Cooley was pulled over around 5:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 10 just west of Lake Park, Forum says, after a citizen’s complaint; a breath test showed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.19. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08.

An assistant administrator at the Becker County Jail tells BringMeTheNews that Cooley was released at 4:41 a.m. Wednesday “when she was sober.”

WDAY-TV – which is owned by Forum Communication – declined to comment, but did air a story about the arrest.

One Facebook user asked the station about that choice on the WDAY Facebook page.

“If it were just a regular citizen getting this, you wouldn’t air it and make a story out of it … why is it different for her?” the user wrote.

Another user responded, speculating that public figures usually get more scrutiny. Indeed, news reporters, who often cover DUI charges against public officials, tend to get more scrutiny when they themselves face charges. ….MORE


The Indianapolis Star

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