Video Shows Judge Refusing Testing After DUI Arrest
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The moments after Judge Lynn Rosenthal was arrested on a DUI charge last May were captured on surveillance video at the Broward Sheriff’s Office Breath Testing Facility.
The video, obtained by CBS 4 News, shows a discussion between the judge and the arresting deputy.
“You’re under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol and or chemical substance and/or controlled substance,” the deputy tells her.
Surveillance video captured why she was arrested. Rosenthal is seen driving into a gate at a courthouse parking lot then backing up and hitting the gate a second time. The BSO deputy wanted Rosenthal to give a blood and urine sample after the accident and she refused.
“Will you submit to the test I am requesting?” the deputy asks.
“No,” the judge replies.
Rosenthal did agree to other testing.
“I’ll do a breathalyzer, no problem,” the judge said.
However the deputy said he did not believe Rosenthal was under the influence of alcohol. He believed it was likely a drug, according to the video.
Rosenthal admitted in court in West Palm Beach last week that she had an involuntary overdose of the generic form of Ambien CR which she took the first time the night before the accident for insomnia. Rosenthal said her doctor mistakenly prescribed her twice the amount of the drug necessary. Prosecutors dropped the DUI charge against her.
“It is important for the public to know this accident was the result of an involuntary overdose and adverse drug reaction I had to…the generic form of Ambien CR. This involuntary overdose was caused because my doctor mistakenly prescribed me twice the amount of Ambien CR recommended by the FDA,” Rosenthal said in a statement.
Courthouse blogger and observer Bill Gelin says he believes Judge Rosenthal should have submitted to the testing to prove her case and to show others who enter the legal system that the rules are the same for everyone.
“Judges should lead by example,” Gelin said. “My take on this video is that she really was not that cooperative at all, just didn’t want to comply with the officer’s request to see what was in her system when she was driving.”
Judge Rosenthal’s lawyer, Louis Silber, however maintains that the judge had every right to refuse to give her blood or urine as part of the investigation.
In a statement from last week the attorney said “…a blood draw may only be performed in cases that involve death or serious bodily injury. Since this case did not involve either instance, the officer’s request for a blood test was illegal and Rosenthal properly refused it. Moreover, it was unlawful for the officer to bundle the urine and blood test together.”
Silber also said in the statement that Rosenthal successfully challenged the officer’s request for her blood and urine and had the typical driver’s license suspension that follows a refusal invalidated.
Rosenthal is up for re-election later this month. She is still at work in the courthouse. We’re told she is working in the foreclosure division.