American Picker Frank Fritz pleads guilty to first offense OWI
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Frank Fritz – one of the co-hosts of the History Channel’s popular American Pickers television show that originated in nearby LeClaire – has pleaded guilty to OWI following a July incident in which police say he drove the wrong way on Interstate 80 under the influence of Xanax and alcohol.
The plea deal, which was entered in Iowa District Court in Davenport on March 1, is a deferred judgement, which will require Fritz to be on unsupervised probation for one year, pay a fine of $625 plus court costs and to complete a substance evaluation program and follow any recommended treatment.
Fritz was arrested on July 30, 2017 at I-80 mile marker 282, which is near the Walcott exit.
Iowa State Police were responding to multiple 911 calls that came in a little before 7 p.m. indicating that someone was driving the wrong way on the interstate in a silver pickup truck and swerving. The responding patrolman followed the truck and observed it “weaving about the roadway crossing the fog line and center markers multiple times,” according to the police report.
The patrolman pulled Fritz over and said he appeared somewhat confused and admitted driving the wrong way on the I-80 and turned around because he was trying to drive to DeWitt. Fritz, the report stated, had slurred speech and admitted to drinking a beer and taking a dosage of Xanax. He was given a field sobriety test and examined by a drug recognition expert at ISP District 12 headquarters, both of which he failed. He was then arrested and transported to the Scott County Jail and charged with OWI first offense.
American Pickers, which has garnered consistently high ratings for A&E’s History Channel, debuted with Fritz and partner Mike Wolfe in 2010.
In addition to his work on the television show, Fritz runs an antique business called Frank Fritz Finds in Savanna, Illinois.