When a Judge gets arrested for DUI

No matter what side of the law you find yourself, nobody is above the law. Just ask Florida judge Cynthia Imperato, age 56. Evidently, this former police officer, turned lawyer, turned judge who has a reputation for being tough on criminals found herself in very hot water as she was allegedly weaving all over the highway. The link contains a 911 call to police for a person driving a white mercedes weaving all over the road, the police were able to catch up to this judge and ultimately arrest her. While initially refusing to exit her car, she attempted to call her lawyer, but was unable to dial the numbers on her phone- don’t you hate when that happens?

Ultimately, the cops got her out of the car whereupon her judge/legal training kicked in and despite not being able to dial her own mobile phone, she did remember not to attempt the field sobriety tests and refused to blow in the pesky breath machine at the police station. She was arrested after 1:00am in the morning and was apparently detained until after 7:00am at the police station. I hope she didn’t have to go directly to the bench to pass judgment on other DUI cases after spending the night in jail. Hopefully they allowed her to go home first and shower up and then play the holier then thou card at work by “throwing the book” at other DUI defendants, something she apparently is known very well for doing.

The thing that bothers me is that we are all human and therefore make mistakes. Now I do not condone drinking and driving, it is unsafe, illegal and just a bad idea. But what is equally worse is some judges and prosecutors who don’t seem to understand that mistakes get made but they are still just “one off” mistakes and defendant’s lives should not be thrown into total upheaval.

This particular judge has a record for crushing people that are found guilty of similar charges, I wonder if she believes that she should be “crushed” because she made an equally unfortunate and dangerous mistake? Would she desire to come before herself in court, or would she rather be in front of a different judge who may be more even handed and understanding then she would be to herself?

Putting aside the hypocritical nature of her actions and her immediate desire to call her lawyer (and inability to do so) I would point out to the motoring public that the allegedly drunken judge did in fact do the right thing as far as her case is concerned in that she did not make any comments regarding her drinking, she did not do the crazy and ridiculous road side gym tests and she did not blow in any machine. Putting aside the propriety of such decision making from an esteemed and honorable judicial member, the reality is that she did at least minimize her self incrimination by electing not to help the state convict her. That part was wise. Just about everything else she did that night was unwise however and will probably impart to the state more then enough evidence to convict her of the DUI charge. Then we get to see the interesting part of the story which is how the judiciary in Florida decides to treat one of its’ own……