Broward County, FL- A Broward County judge was arrested early last Friday morning for multiple counts related to a DUI accident during which a man suffered a neck injury.
According to the police report, Judge Gisele Pollack, 56, who typically handles misdemeanor drugs charges, cried and said she didn’t want to go to jail before she was taken into custody.
Pollack was driving on West Broward Ave. when she slammed into a parked car. The man inside the car was knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital for treatment
The police reported noted that Pollack smelled strongly of alcohol and had a plastic cup in her car, the contents of which spilled onto her passenger seat. Police also found bottles of alcohol in the trunk of Pollack’s vehicle.
Pollack failed field sobriety tests but refused to take a breath test. She was arrested and charged with DUI, DUI with damage to property or persons and failure to use due care.
Pollack told police she was driving home from Gainesville when she was arrested.
Pollack has long struggled with alcoholism and was candid about her problem during her 2004 She seemed to have a handle on her drinking until last December when her strange behavior on the bench led some to believe she relapsed. She took a short leave of absence to attend rehab and returned to the bench after a short stint.
But she asked for another leave of absence last month when she showed up to drunk to court on two occasions over a two months.
A close friend told the Sun-Sentinel that Pollack’s mother who she had a close relationship with died recently so she has been struggling with personal issues.
Pollack has been temporarily suspended but it is unclear if she will be able to keep her job. It will be left up to Judicial Qualifications Commission which has the power to determine whether a judge will be able to keep their position.
Drinking problems and DUIs go hand in hand. At least of half of all first-time DUI offenders will face a second DUI charge in their lifetime.
Pollack is the second Broward County Judge to be arrested for driving under the influence in the past several months. Last November, Broward County Judge Cynthia Imperato was arrested for driving under the influence after she was seen driving erratically and ran into parked cars. No one was injured.
Imperato initially refused to get out of her vehicle but eventually relented and was placed under arrest. She requested a re-assignment from criminal court to foreclosure court after her arrest.
A DUI can adversely affect a person’s life and their career and should be taken seriously by the alleged offender. This means that anyone charged with a DUI should be proactive and seek out the advice of a DUI attorney. In some cases, a person’s livelihood is in jeopardy when they are charged with DUI. A strong DUI defense can help minimize the resulting penalties and help a person keep their job.