(File photo) Karen Kortje. Photo: Phandulwazi Jikelo

Idols winner Karin Kortje was arrested for drunk driving early on Sunday morning.

Kortje, whose life has been dogged by controversy in recent years, was arrested on Van Riebeeck Road in front of the Kuils River police station, it was reported on Sunday.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander confirmed that a 32-year-old woman had been arrested and will appear in court in April, after forensics tests have been completed. Kortje was released on Sunday morning on a warning.

She was pulled over by the police when they noticed her allegedly driving erratically and recklessly. She was arrested and charged with drunk driving.

On Sunday morning, her husband, Shaundor Aspeling, said she was asleep in bed and was not available to talk.

Kortje, a mother of three, shot to fame when she won Idols in 2005. Up until then she had worked as a packer on an apple farm and was the lead singer of Grabouw-based band the Elginaires.

Controversy erupted around her in 2006 when her then boyfriend Cheslin Williams was arrested for the murder of Durbanville guest house owner Renata Kellerman.

She was also slated when she started dating Aspeling, who was already married.

Aspeling divorced his wife and married Kortje in 2009.

Her career took a dive, but recently she has appeared in a number of local singing productions.

Kortje joins the ranks of a number of celebrities arrested for drunk driving.

* In 2010, singer and songwriter Arno Carstens was arrested for drunk driving. Carstens is the lead singer of the Springbok Nude Girls, and a solo artist.

* Ard Matthews of Just Jinger was arrested for drunk driving in Cape Town in 2010, after an accident in the city centre. He is now a supporter of the “No Regret Friday” campaign, which encourages people not to drink and drive.

* Comedian Marc Lottering was arrested for drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving in 2004 when his car hit three parked cars on Ocean View Drive in Sea Point. Following his arrest he put on a stage production, Crash, in which he detailed the incident and informs the audience about the dangers of drunk driving. He was found guilty of the offence and fined R9 000, with R6 000 suspended for five years.

Cape Argus