NY Judge is Jailed in Drunk-Driving Dispute

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A Rochester City Court judge was jailed yesterday and could spend at least the next four weeks as an inmate. How much more time she will spend behind bars will hinge on what she knew and when, reports the USA Today Network/Rochester Democrat &  Chronicle. Did Judge Leticia Astacio know the judge overseeing her drunk-driving case had ordered her to submit to a urinalysis to test for alcohol consumption? And if she did, when did she know it? The action that caused Judge Stephen Aronson of Canandaigua City Court, who is overseeing her case, to order the test occurred April 29 when the ignition interlock device on her car registered a blood-alcohol-content reading of 0.0651% as someone tried to start it. Astacio said her daughter blew into the car breathalyzer; other people are allowed to drive cars outfitted with such equipment.

Astacio left the city May 2 for Thailand without telling the court or her lawyer. Aronson didn’t order the test until later. She first learned of the court order to take the urinalysis May 27 when she received email from her lawyer, she said. The crux of a hearing yesterday turned on whether Astacio was notified of her obligation to take the test in a timely manner and whether she could have complied but didn’t. She had not been prohibited from traveling as part of her conditional discharge Aug. 22 for a Feb. 13, 2016, drunken-driving arrest on her way to work. She was required to submit to random court-ordered drug tests and abstain from alcohol. “I was trying to de-stress and get away from all of this,” she said.

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