The 'Paul Blart' actress suing Warren Sapp for battery was arrested for DUI just hours after the alleged incident ... TMZ Sports has learned.
As we previously reported, Paula Trickey -- who was a recurring character on "The O.C." -- claimed Sapp drunkenly knocked her to the ground during a 2015 ESPN Super Bowl party in Arizona.
Trickey claimed Sapp was being kicked out of the party around 1 AM when he tried running through the crowd and slammed into her ... causing serious injuries.
We did some digging and found out just a few hours later at 3:40 AM, the Scottsdale PD popped Trickey for DUI claiming she reeked of alcohol, bombed the "walk the line test" and blew a .119.
For her part, Trickey denied she was wasted -- claiming she only had 1 glass of wine that evening at Jim McMahon's house .... yeah, THAT Jim McMahon. She later pled guilty to DUI.
Sapp adamantly denied knocking Trickey down and claimed he wasn't even at the party that night. We looked through hundreds of pics from the event and couldn't find 1 shot of Sapp.
Now, with this new info you gotta believe Sapp's team will try to argue that Trickey was drunk and might have confused him with another big, black, bald football player.