A Ohio common pleas judge recently faced a public reprimand after an incident involving intoxicated driving last year. She was publicly reprimanded by the Ohio Supreme Court after reviewing findings from an ethics board. During her arrest for drunk driving, she stated that she was a judge, presumably to help her situation. The highest court in the state said she abused the prestige and position associated with her office.

Reports indicate she drove her vehicle off the road and into a ditch. Upon arriving at the scene of the accident, law enforcement said they noticed the smell of alcohol in her vehicle. Police say she admitted to drinking and being intoxicated behind the wheel. She was unsteady and almost fell multiple times. She refused to consent to a Breathalyzer test.

At the police station, she requested the police call a personal friend who was a sheriff’s deputy. She was formally charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. She pleaded guilty and apologized for her actions. She then served three days in jail after completing a driver-intervention program.

Every drunk driving case is different. Pleading guilty is not always the best option, but it may help a defendant avoid some penalties in certain circumstances. When deciding whether to plead guilty or fight a drunk driving charge, it is beneficial to think about what makes the most sense long-term. Seeking an assessment of the individual case with an experienced defense attorney is an important step in this process.