Broward County drug court judge arrested on DUI charges

By Amanda Batchelor, Senior Digital Editor, abatchelor@wplg.com
John Turchin, Crime Specialist, jturchin@local10.com
Published On: May 02 2014 10:20:04 AM EDT
Updated On: May 02 2014 07:00:00 PM EDT

A Broward County drug court judge who has battled addiction in the past is arrested on DUI charges early Friday morning.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -

A Broward County circuit judge who has run misdemeanor drug court for years was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early Friday morning in Plantation.

Gisele Pollack, who has admitted to having a history of alcohol and drug addictions in the past, is facing five charges, including DUI with damage to property or persons and failure to use due care.

Police said the judge was driving west on Sunrise Boulevard when she veered into the far right lane and struck a car. The driver of the car was taken to a hospital with a neck injury.

According to the arrest report, the officer could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the car and the judge's mouth. The officer also wrote that she "was incredibly unsteady on her feet" and nearly fell over a couple of times during a roadside sobriety test.

Pollack went on personal leave in March after having a meltdown in court. She also had a relapse on the bench in December that led to a disruption in court and her return to rehab.

"She's been battling a lot of demons from issues with her son to the death of her mother, which have been very, very traumatic for her," attorney Eric Schwartzreich told Local 10. "She is a human being like the rest of us. ... I know she's a judge and they want to hold her to a higher standard, but hold her to the standard of a human being like anyone else."

Pollack was booked into the county jail about 1:30 a.m. and released a few hours later.

Peter Weinstein, Broward County's chief judge, said Pollack will remain on leave until further notice.

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