Most people have a stereotypical image in mind when it comes to the description of a drunk driver. However, the image rarely reflects a respected law enforcement official. In fact, it is not uncommon for respected law enforcement officials to drive under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
For example, former Broward County Judge Gisele Pollack, who led the local misdemeanor drug court, resigned from her position immediately following a judicial panel’s recommendation for her removal. Fort Lauderdale attorney Eric Schwartzreich represented Pollack before the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Pollack admitted to showing up to work drunk in 2013. She promised the Commission that she would not do it again. In 2014, she once again showed up to work intoxicated and drove under the influence of alcohol after leaving a rehabilitation program in Gainesville. While driving drunk, Pollack got into a car accident injuring another driver.
The judge said the accident was the wake up call she needed to return to sobriety – she had struggled with alcoholism before and had been sober for nearly 20 years before relapsing in 2013.
Pollack is not the only judge to be charged with driving drunk. New York Judge Leticia Astacio was arrested for drunk driving on her way to court in Rochester. She was arrested by a New York State trooper. Astacio refused to take a breathalyzer test and was later charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Astacio previously worked in the Monroe County District Attorney Office as a defense attorney. Her arraignment will take place in March 2016.
Winnipeg Judge Michael Chartier was recently charged with drunk driving. He has been placed on administrative leave after being charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08%.
In 2014, Chartier made headlines when he did not sentence a chronic alcoholic to prison time after he slammed into a motorcycle while driving with a blood-alcohol limit nearly five times the legal limit. Instead, Navdeep Sooch was given probation with intensive therapy.
As you can see, even judges can have a lapse in judgment and decide to driver under the influence of alcohol. I invite you to contact my law office for a consultation regarding a charge for drunk driving. I can provide you with legal advice and guidance on how to best proceed. Call 734-274-6567 to speak with me directly.