Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Judge Cynthia Imperato is used to handing down sentences but she now finds herself on the other side of the bench after she was arrested for driving under the influence in Boca Raton last week. In addition to her legal problems, Imperato has been reassigned.
Imperato, who had attended a legal social function earlier that evening, was pulled over last Tuesday night after police received 911 calls about an erratic driver turning onto Northeast Second Street from Federal Highway. One caller told the dispatcher that they saw a white Mercedes Benz was “all over the road,” the Sun Sentinel reported.
Witness also said the Mercedes driver nearly “swiped” him twice and almost hit another vehicle. The caller said the driver was “dangerous” and “must be drunk.”
Police, however did not catch up with the driver until an hour later, three miles away from the area where the Mercedes was first seen. They saw the manner in which Imperato was driving first-hand just before 11 p.m.
Police pulled Imperato over and noted in their report that she had the tell-tale signs of intoxication; bloodshot eyes and smelled strongly of alcohol. She also had flushed skin and slurred speech.
According to CBS, when police asked her step out of the car, Imperato, who has been a judge since 2003, refused, telling them that she was calling her attorney. The police reported noted that she was experiencing trouble dialing her phone.
Imperato refused numerous requests by police to exit her vehicle, but finally complied when they opened the door of her car and asked her a final time. The police report stated that as she exited the vehicle she has to lift herself by pushing on the driver’s side door, CBS reported.
Imperato refused to submit to field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer, placed under arrest and her car was towed.
The Sun Sentinel reported that this is the second time Imperato has been arrested for DUI; her first arrest was in 1988.
Imperato will have to face justice just like everyone else, but her case will most likely go to the state Supreme Court Justices after the incident is investigated by the by the Judicial Qualification Committee.
Nova Southeastern University Law Professor Bob Jarvis told CBS that based on previous cases, Imperato will probably get a “slap on the wrist” and will be “reprimanded publically,” but believes that will be the extent of her punishment.
Imperato has, however, been reassigned from criminal court to hearing foreclosures cases.
While Imperato did not lose her position as a judge she was moved to a different court which goes to show what an impact a DUI can have on a person’s career.
Regardless of a person’s occupation, a DUI conviction can affect their current position or their future employment prospects. For one, a conviction typically results on a revocation of a person’s driver’s license for 3 months or more depending on their level of intoxication. Secondly, a DUI conviction remains on a person’s criminal record for years and that will rule a person out for some employers. To combat the most negative effects of a DUI, it is critical you hire a Ft. Lauderdale DUI attorney.