Over four years ago, a judge from Lake County was charged with drunk driving and resisting and obstructing a police officer after police had conducted a traffic stop and attempted to arrest the judge for driving under the influence of alcohol.
This week, the judge was finally cleared of DUI after it was determined that evidence gathered in the drunk-driving case had not been handled properly. The judge was convicted of resisting and obstructing an officer, though.
The officer who had conducted the traffic stopped called for backup when the Lake County judge allegedly tried to roll his window up after he had been asked to step out of his vehicle to take a field sobriety test.
When backup did arrive, an officer noted that he saw his colleague holding the driver’s window down with his hand to prevent the window from closing all of the way. The officer then sprayed the driver with pepper spray. The Lake County judge claimed that he had accidentally rolled his window up while trying to get out of his vehicle to comply with the officers.
After the incident, the Lake County judge was placed under arrest and was taken to a local hospital. A blood test was administered at the hospital because the judge had refused to take a breath test. The results of the test revealed that the judge’s blood alcohol level had exceeded the legal limit of 0.08.
After four years of fighting the charges and having his case go to trial, it was determined that there was not enough evidence in the case to convict the Lake County judge of drunk driving. The officer who conducted the traffic stop could not testify or be questioned in the case because he had died just two months after the judge’s arrest of a heart attack. Additionally, the blood test was dismissed as evidence because it was determined that the test had not been processed correctly.
Source: Daily Herald, “Lake County judge cleared of DUI, convicted of resisting police,” Bob Susnjara, July 16, 2012