Inquiry Concerning A JudgeAnnotate this Case
Judge Nelson was observed driving a vehicle erratically, weaving between lanes, striking a guardrail several times, and ultimately crashing on a bridge. After initially identifying herself as a judge to the police officer at the scene, she explained to the officer that she lost control of the vehicle because she was talking on her cellular phone. However, the officer smelled alcohol on her breath, and noticed that her eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Her clothes were in disarray. At first, Judge Nelson was unable to tell the officer where she was coming from or where she was going, but she later recalled that she may have been at a restaurant. She refused to exit the vehicle and refused to submit to field sobriety exercises. Judge Nelson was taken to the county jail where she refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. The Notice of Formal Charges stated that these acts, if they occurred as alleged, were in violation of Canons 1 and 2A of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The Florida Supreme Court recommended a sanction of public reprimand.