Former Broward judge found guilty of DUI, reckless driving – WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

| December 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Former Broward judge found guilty of DUI, reckless driving – WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A Broward County judge accused of reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol was found guilty on both counts, Friday.

Former judge Cynthia Imperato was sentenced to 12 months probation, 20 days of house arrest, a suspended license for a year, community service, and over $2,500 in court costs.

The State initially wanted Imperato to receive 30 days in jail and 12 months probation. However, the defense fought that motion, hoping sentencing would wait so those who know Imperato could defend her character and prove she did not deserve jail time.

Because the judge was convicted of another DUI back in 1988, the state wanted a harsher penalty. “Ms. Imperato was impaired by alcohol that night,” a prosecutor stated to the judge. “In addition, we have Officer Immler’s testimony that stated the level of impairment, to him, was egregious and severe.”

Jurors began deliberating on Imperato’s case Thursday night, after closing arguments were delivered. They were at the court house until midnight, but asked to see more video of her being pulled over and of her at the police station.

During the trial, defense attorneys argued there was no evidence that Imperato was ever drunk. However, Boca Raton Police officers testified there was an overwhelming smell of alcohol coming from the judge. “You never actually offered her on the video the opportunity to do a roadside sobriety test, did you?” a defense attorney asked one of the police officers who was present the night Imperato was pulled over.

“Well, I told her we were doing a DUI investigation, but I did not use ‘roadside exercises’ specifically,” the officer responded.

Prosecutors claimed that Imperato flashed her law enforcement badge to avoid arrest, but according to her arrest team, that never happened and Douglas Immler, the Boca Raton Police officer who pulled Imperato over, just wanted to make a name for himself.

The six jurors, consisting of three men and three women, reconvened at 1 p.m. Friday and requested to hear Immler’s 90-minute testimony again, where they then delivered the guilty verdicts just before 3:15 p.m. Imperato had a blank reaction as the verdicts were read.

According to a police report, on the night of Nov. 5, 2013, a 911 caller stated Imperato’s white Mercedes-Benz was driving erratically in the 2400 block of West Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton. Once pulled over by officials, a dashboard camera showed Imperato repeatedly refusing the officer’s request for her to step out of her vehicle. That officer claimed he smelled alcohol on her breath, her eyes were red and her speech was slow and slurred. She refused to take a breathalyzer test.

It remains unclear if Imperato will be able to take her position back as a judge at any point in the future.

Category: Laws and Advice

Leave a Reply