POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Broward County judge who was sentenced to three months of probation after she pleaded no contest to a reckless driving charge, spoke out about the case for the first time Monday morning.
On the Rich Stevens radio show, Judge Lynn Rosenthal insisted her legal troubles begin and end with an involuntary overdose of the generic form of Ambien CR, a prescribed sleep medication, which she took for the first time the night before the accident for insomnia.
“For me having been prescribed by a medical doctor an overdose, 12.5 milligrams of Ambien CR, put me in a position where I was sleep driving and unaware of what I was doing,” explained Judge Rosenthal to CBS4’s Joan Murray. She said it was double the FDA recommended dose. “It was very unfortunate because I am still a very qualified lawyer and judge that I have always been.”
It was back on May 27th when Rosenthal, 57, reportedly clipped a parked police car and crashed into the entry gate of the judges’ parking lot behind the Broward County courthouse.
Rosenthal was given a Breathalyzer test, but no alcohol was detected. She said she had taken a sleeping pill the night before and blamed her doctor.
When asked if she received any preferential treatment, she replied, “not at all.”
Prosecutors decided to drop the DUI charge and instead opted to file a single count of reckless driving, a misdemeanor traffic offense.
But the controversy didn’t go away.
In video after her arrest, obtained by CBS4 News, a Broward Sheriff’s deputy is seen asking Rosenthal to submit to a urine or blood test.
“Will you submit to the test I am requesting?” the deputy asked.
“No,” the judge replied.
On the radio Monday, Rosenthal told listeners despite what is seen on the video, she did agree to the urine test but not the blood test. She also agreed to take a breathalizer test and wasn’t trying to hide anything.
“And the discussion was, I would only do a urine and if ultimately he said blood or urine at one point, the police reports and all the documents made it quite clear that that was never an option.”
Rosenthal was on the radio for about an hour. In addition to probation, Rosenthal was sentenced to 25 hours of community service and ordered to pay restitution.
Judge Rosenthal said she is not planning to take any legal action against her doctor at this time. Her main concentration moving forward is her job. Rosenthal is up for re-election later this month.