Retired Palm Beach Circuit Judge Arrested for DUI

first_imgA retired Palm Beach County circuit judge suddenly finds herself on the opposite side of the law.According to the report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, 61-year-old Amy Lee Smith-Dodgin was arrested on DUI charges following a reported crash last Saturday night.The sheriff’s office wrote that she blew a .168 and then a .152 on breath-alcohol tests several hours after officers pulled her over. The legal limit to drive in Florida is .08.At around 11 p.m. Saturday, Riviera Beach police officers were called to a residence near Blue Heron Boulevard and I-95, due to a report of an alleged hit-and-run crash.Witnesses told officers that a white BMW was headed southbound on Avenue O.Officers eventually located the vehicle, which had front-end damage. They attempted several times to pull the car over until it eventually stopped nearby.Smith-Dodgin exited the car but had “a difficult time standing and appeared disorientated,” according to officers.After being read her Miranda rights, she reportedly told officers that she had had several alcoholic drinks with friends in Palm Beach Gardens and was returning to her home in Jupiter. She also said she was aware that she was in Riviera Beach, but “could not specify why she was in this particular neighborhood.” In addition, she told officers before she agreed to a field-sobriety test that she did have a past medical issue, but did not think it would prevent her from completing tasks such as the walk-and-turn.Documents show that Smith-Dodgin retired as a circuit judge in 2016, one year after suffering a brain injury that left her in a coma for 28 days.In her resignation letter to then-Gov. Rick Scott, she wrote, “I can no longer work full time at the present and will need to continue physical and cognitive therapies into the undefined future.”As she began the sobriety tests on Saturday, she told officers she could complete the directed actions.However, she was then was taken to a hospital due to the crash, and was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail early Sunday.Smith-Dodgin was released a few hours later on her own recognizance.She has an arraignment hearing scheduled for July 29.The former prosecutor and insurance-defense lawyer was first elected to the circuit bench in 2004 and served in several divisions, including family and felony court. Criminal defense attorney Cyrus Toufanian is representing her. Courtesy: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Officelast_img