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Judge faces jail time in Colorado DUI case after violating probation

Drunk driving is a serious crime, and Colorado treats it as such – no matter who the defendant is.

Now, a judge in the southeastern part of the state faces a jail sentence after her second arrest on driving under the influence charges in two years.

The judge, who is a 62-year-old woman, was appointed to the bench in 2010. On Jan. 14, 2018, she was arrested in Prowers County, Colorado, and charged with DUI after registering a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .137%. She entered a guilty plea to driving under the influence charges.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, the conviction would be wiped from her record after serving two years’ probation without incident.

But on Aug. 17, 2019, the woman was arrested in Tribune, Kansas, on suspicion of DUI, driving with an open container, failing to use a mandated ignition interlock device and speeding.

In Colorado, she pleaded guilty to violating the terms of her probation on May 7 and is expected to plead guilty in the Kansas case in June. Once she does that, jail time will become mandatory.

“No one is above the law – not law enforcement, not elected officials, not prosecutors and not judges,” the prosecutor said in a news release. “All it takes to end drunk driving — wait for it — is for people to stop drinking and getting behind the wheel. This defendant, someone who has sat in judgment of numerous drunk drivers who appeared in her courtroom, was offered a second chance and a vehicle for rehabilitation. She chose to squander that opportunity. She will pay the consequences.”

Colorado’s strict stance toward drunk driving charges means that anyone charged with DUI needs strong legal representation. Much is at stake with a DUI conviction.