A retired Florida judge was taken into custody on drunk driving charges on the night of June 27 after she was involved in an alleged hit-and-run traffic accident in Palm Beach County. According to the Riviera Beach Police Department, breath tests conducted several hours after the accident occurred revealed the 61-year-old woman’s blood alcohol concentration to be between .152% and .168%. The legal driving limit in Florida is .08%
The accident that led to the judge’s arrest took place in Riviera Beach at approximately 11 p.m. Officers from the RBPD were dispatched to a residence in the vicinity of Interstate 95 and Blue Heron Boulevard to investigate reports of a hit-and-run crash. When they arrived at the scene, eyewitnesses are said to have told them that the car responsible was a white BMW sedan. The witnesses also said that the BMW had left the scene, heading southbound on Avenue O.
Police say that they quickly identified the car and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. However, the BMW did not pull over immediately. When it did stop, officers say that the woman behind the wheel appeared disoriented and did not seem to know where she was. After agreeing to take and then allegedly refusing to complete a field sobriety test, the woman was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. She was then transported to the Palm Beach County Jail to be processed on a DUI charge.
The urge to escape can be powerful when people who have not been in trouble with the law before face the possibility of criminal charges and jail time. Experienced DUI criminal defense attorneys would likely advise individuals in this situation to resist the impulse to flee and remain at the scene. Most drunk driving cases are resolved with plea agreements, and defense attorneys may find it far more difficult to negotiate favorable terms when their clients attempted to elude law enforcement.