In Florida and Texas, the courts are known to be pretty harsh on DUI and other offenses. However, at least one Texas judge and Florida prosecutor seem to have found ample due process and mercy in the handling of their own DUI cases. In Waco, District Judge Elizabeth Berry, 43, has been able to keep out the result of a blood test that showed that she was driving drunk. In Tampa, former Pinellas-Pasco prosecutor Lydia Wardell, 41, (known for her own unforgiving treatment of DUI offenders) avoided jail time for her second DUI arrest.
Berry has been able to fight on flaws in the search warrant used to obtain her blood. She was charged in November with misdemeanor DWI based on test results of a blood-alcohol over the DUI level of 0.08.
Now, it appears that the prosecution will be simply dropped and Berry, a former Tarrant County prosecutor, will be allowed to return to presiding over Criminal District Court No. 3 in Fort Worth.
For her part, Wardell has been through this DUI process before as a defendant. She was known as a prosecutor who showed little mercy in DUI cases. Yet, despite the fact that this is her second offense, Hillsborough County Judge Lawrence Lefler uses his discretion to waive jail time and sentenced her to eight months probation.
Her license is suspended for five years. She received 18 months of probation in 2005 after she was arrested for driving drunk with her two young sons in the car.
For the full story on the judge, click here.
For the Wardell story, click here.