A long-time Broward County judge was arrested on a DUI charge after she was spotted driving erratically and nearly hit another car in Boca Raton, police said.
Circuit Judge Cynthia Gelmine Imperato, 56, was arrested late Tuesday following a traffic stop in the 2400 block of West Palmetto Park Road, according to a Boca Raton Police report released Wednesday.
According to the report, an officer had spotted Imperato's white Mercedes driving erratically and nearly hit another car. Imperato said she was weaving and had attempted to use her cell phone.
But the officer could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from her breath and noted that her eyes were red and glassy, her speech was slow and slurred, and her face was red and flush, the report said.
Imperato refused to get out of her car and when the officer opened her door, she refused to walk to the front of the officer's car, the report said.
When she refused to provide a breath sample, Imperato was arrested, the report said. She was released from jail early Wednesday and it was unknown whether she has an attorney.
A note (below) on Imperato's courtroom door Wednesday said she was "out sick" and her cases would be rolled over to Thursday.
Imperato is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 2, the report said.
Nova Southeastern law professor Bob Jarvis said the top judge in Broward and later the Florida Supreme Court will decide what is going to happen to her.
"The chief judge could take action," he said. "But really the way judges get disciplined in these sorts of cases is there's an investigation by an entity known as the Judicial Qualifications Commission ... They report up the line to the Florida Supreme Court and it's ultimately up to the Florida Supreme Court."
Imperato has been on this job since 2003 and ran unopposed in 2010. Her terms ends in 2017. She was not available for comment at the court on Wednesday, and the top judge wasn't available to comment on what, if any, action he may take.
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