BROWARD (CBSMiami) – The moments before Judge Lynn Rosenthal was arrested outside the Broward County Courthouse last May were captured on surveillance video.
The video was released Friday by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case. Prosecutors announced on Thursday that they were dropping the DUI charge against Rosenthal, instead charging her with a misdemeanor traffic offense.
Rosenthal pleaded no contest and said she was over-prescribed medication in error by her doctor for insomnia.
Surveillance cameras rolled outside the judicial parking lot on May 27 just before 7 am. Judge Lynn Rosenthal arrived in her SUV. The cameras captured her driving into the gate outside the lot. A Broward Sheriff’s employee spoke to her and a short time later, the gate to the parking lot opened slightly. Rosenthal is seen on video backing up and hitting the gate again.
Deputies surrounded her, spoke with her and soon after she was arrested for DUI.
Rosenthal walked out of jail that day without speaking to reporters.
The case was resolved on Thursday by Rosenthal’s lawyers. In a statement, Rosenthal said she regrets the accident and is grateful no one was hurt. She added, “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’s attorney, Brian Silber, said Rosenthal took the drug for the very first time the night before the accident. Silber says Rosenthal drove to work the next morning and was unable to realize that she was still feeling the effects of the drug and that it was not safe for her to drive.
Silber says Rosenthal already completed the terms of her probation in the case.
“As a public servant, Rosenthal knows she must live by a more stringent standard than the one imposed on the people she serves.,” Silber said in a statement. “As such, she has chosen to take responsibility for what happened on May 27, 2014 so that the judiciary and the public can put this matter to rest once and for all.”
Rosenthal is up for re-election next month. Court administrators say Rosenthal is still at work in the courthouse, handing cases in the foreclosure division.
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