Here’s a DUI story from Arizona reminding the judicial bench and the good people of Arizona that we are all human.
Allegedly County Judge Lodge was stopped by local law enforcement in his SUV when he swerved across the yellow line and was too incoherent to perform field sobriety tests. When exiting his vehicle he apparently slammed his own arm in his car door. When asked what he had to drink, the good judge indicated the standard 3 beers answer; however his BAC was .22, a very high number, nearly 3 times the legal limit. Additionally, he indicated he took several prescription painkillers, oxycodone for a medical condition. The painkillers would not effect his BAC level, but would strongly effect his coordination. The painkillers in addition to the nearly empty bottle of vodka in his car, together could easily have been life threatening irrespective of driving drunk. The judge did indicate he was having wife/domestic issues (which would be enough to put somebody in this state of mind and should be a pass for DUI) and thus I question between the alcohol and the drugs what his desired end game was. The county apparently placed him on a desk for “personal reasons” and failed to indicate to the public what had actually occurred.
This is an interesting and sad story for a few reasons. It is interesting because Arizona is a state which is extremely unforgiving in its DUI law. This BAC number in a DUI is considered and “extreme DUI” and the punishment upon conviction is 30 days minimum in jail among other things. When that does occur, and the good judge finds himself behind the very bars that he sentences poor hapless defendants to every day, the question then becomes will he lose his job as a judge as a result of his one night soiree into the dark side of life. If he does not lose his job as a result of demonstrating incredibly bad judgment, should he? Should he continue to sit in judgment of others?
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