Texas Judge and Florida Prosecutor Win Favorable Treatment in Their Own Drunk Driving Cases

judgeelizabeth_berrySP_200810_HO_WARDELLIn 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.

33 thoughts on “Texas Judge and Florida Prosecutor Win Favorable Treatment in Their Own Drunk Driving Cases”

  1. This is the first I have checked out this blog and after reading a very important article about judges being not judged themselves [when caught red-handed in driving drunk and at very excessive speed] the commentary has nothing to do with the subject-matter save perhaps a few. Looks to me like the lawyers know that the term “home team” is par for the course and part of the unwritten rule that lawyers and judges get out of jail for free and as a matter of professional ‘courtesy’, which I call quid pro quo per se, is it any wonder that lawyer images have sunken to below that of the used car peddler?

  2. “Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals.[1]

    If that is the case how come we are less free now than we were 50 years ago?”

    Because the GOP has been dominating the political landscape for the last 50 years with the exception of the Clinton years as Carter’s hands were COMPLETELY tied. If it’s against liberty and equality, that what they’ve fought for. At the end of the Clinton administration, the U.S. government was running a record surplus and our international standing, especially on Human Rights issues, was also running high. Now, after 8 years of Neocon induced deadlock, our economy is ruined and even our allies are starting to hate us because of Human Rights abuses. All thanks to the Republicans! The reason Republicans can’t point to their successes in these areas concerning freedom and liberty is because they don’t have any successes and they don’t have any on purpose. You can’t be oppressive fascist Warlords if everyone is liberated and treated equally because most people aren’t evil. They’ll stop you. Being a Warlord requires that you be evil, doesn’t matter if you’re fighting for Jesus (what an oxymoron), the Flying Spaghetti Monster or just plain greed and ego.

    In short, we are less free now because of the very people you back. You think having less liberty sucks? Thank yourself.

  3. The Heritage Foundation? Your basis of counter is an appeal to authority (not mere definitions as I provided). And you chose to appeal to the “authority” of The Heritage Foundation?


    You need to what “legitimate source” means. Quoting them is like quoting PNAC. They are part of the the Crazy’s. No sane person pays attention to The Heritage Foundation. It’s also further evidence of your theocratic disposition. So it comes back to this once more:




  4. Buddha:

    thought this might pertain. From the Heritage Foundation (liberal translation – Nazi facist foundation)

    “The Ugly Face of Progressive Corporatism”

    (just in case you dont know progressive and liberal are interchangeable.)

    “During the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, President Bill Clinton mastered the art of burying bad news: release everything late on Friday afternoon and hope everyone in Washington forgets about it by Monday. Only one week into his presidency and it is clear that President Barack Obama is equally adept at this skill. Late Friday night, Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary nominee Tom Daschle told reporters that he paid over $140,000 in back taxes and interest to the IRS on January 2, of this year. The $128,000 in unreported income came from the $353,552 he received in consulting fees and the use of a car service from a wealthy Democratic donor in just the three years since Daschle left the Senate.

    But Daschle’s trouble paying taxes on income he received from wealthy Democratic donors is just the tip of the iceberg. As the New York Times reports this morning, Daschle’s post-Senate career, which allowed Daschle “to make $5 million and live a lavish lifestyle by dint of his name” provides “a new window into how Washington works.” Much of Daschle’s lucre has come from his work for the firm Alston & Bird where “Mr. Daschle has operated in the gap between the popular understanding and legal definition of a lobbyist.” While there, Daschle has “consulted” for clients with business before the federal government including two Indian tribes, a firm with heavy stakes in ethanol subsidies, and another with key issues before the Federal Aviation Administration. Not to mention Daschle’s work for the supposedly non-proft firm EduCap which allows some students to borrow up to $50,000 a year, sometimes at 18 percent effective interest rates.

    But these links between big government and big business are not the most worrisome. Daschle will after all be in charge of health policy, and that is where his income from big business is the most troubling. The Health Industry Distributors Association, which successfully lobbied to kill Medicare’s first ever competitive bidding program for health care supplies this summer, paid Daschle $14,000 to deliver one speech at their conference last year. And Daschle was also paid for his policy advice by UnitedHealth, a giant insurance company which receives a third of its revenue from HHS regulated sales of Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement and prescription drug plans.

    Daschle’s nomination as Secretary of HHS comes at a crucial time for health care in this country. For more than a decade, the federal government has been gaining more and more control over the total number of health care dollars spent in this country. Today, the private sector spends only 53.7% of all health care dollars, while state and federal government cut the checks for the rest. The combination of the recently passed SCHIP expansion, and the further expansion of eligibility under Medicaid will certainly push government spending on health care well past 50%. But this is only half of the story. If we include all of the state and federal regulations that dictate private spending, the government already controls over 60% of the health care sector.

    Daschle and the health care sector are only part of the big business/big government nexus that is killing our economy. The Obama administration is also using the power of the Wall Street bailout purse strings to dictate how cars are made in this country and how financial firms should operate. Just as the New Deal failed to restore economic growth because it tried to marry big government planning with big business profits, so will Obama’s new New Deal. Daschle’s story is just one window into what the failure will look like.”

    less free is less free and liberals have been in control of most it for the last 75 years.

  5. Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals.[1]

    If that is the case how come we are less free now than we were 50 years ago?

    We cant smoke in public, eat foods with transfat, political correctness has run amok and government is a big scary monster. Most of the judges in our judicial system are “liberal” most of the permanent job holders in our various governmental agencies are “liberal” so why are we less free now? According to Buddhas logic we should be close to perfection, yet statism (read state control) is raising its head with a vengence all over the world.

    Just some thoughts.

  6. Re: Stalin was a liberal

    A fine display of political ignorance from someone who I can only assume is a right-wing Republican. Let’s equate communism with liberalism while we are at it. In fact, let’s take it a step further and equate it with fascism of the Nazi kind. That’s better. Fabricating reasons to hate liberals is just so darn fun.

  7. And for contrast,

    “Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals.[1]

    Liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Within liberalism, there are various streams of thought which compete over the use of the term “liberal” and may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for constitutional liberalism, which encompasses support for: freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, an individual’s right to private property,[2] and a transparent system of government.[3][4][5] All liberals, as well as some adherents of other political ideologies, support some variant of the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law.[6]

    Those who identify themselves as classical liberals, to distinguish themselves from social liberals, oppose all government regulation of business and the economy, with the exception of laws against force and fraud, and support free market laissez-faire capitalism. In Europe, the term “liberalism” is closer to the economic outlook of American economic conservatives.[7] In the United States, “liberalism” is most often used in the sense of modern liberalism, which supports some regulation of business and other economic interventionism which they believe to be in the public interest. They tend to support a welfare state[5], a government-imposed minimum wage, laws against discrimination in hiring, and affirmative action.[8][5]

    Modern liberalism has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment and rejects many foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, established religion, and economic protectionism.[9][10][11] Liberals argued that economic systems based on free markets are more efficient and generate more prosperity.[12]

    The first liberal state was the United States of America[13], founded on the principle that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to insure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”[14] This said, much of early liberal thought originated in and influenced the politics of The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France.”

    Source – Wikipedia

    You’re incapable of even the most basic research, aren’t you?

  8. Stalin was a . . . wait for it . . . STALINIST.

    “Stalinism is a term, usually used as a pejorative, that purportedly describes the political system of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1929–1953. The term implies an inherently oppressive system of extensive government spying, extrajudicial punishment, and political “purging”, or elimination of political opponents either by direct killing or through exile, and it involves a state using extensive use of propaganda to establish a personality cult around an absolute dictator to maintain control over the nation’s people and to maintain political control for the Communist Party.

    The term “Stalinism” is almost never used as a positive term. Those who subscribe to the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao almost never describe themselves as Stalinists; they see the term as not only disparaging but also indicative of an erroneous certainty among detractors of Stalin’s legacy that his current supporters are “Stalin-worshippers”. Even today, Stalin is seen as having been a positive figure by many in Russia, shown recently in December of 2008 by his placement as number three in an overall list of the greatest Russian leaders of all time, including those of imperial Russia. Typically, so-called Stalinists will either defend Stalin overall or will defend the most defensible aspects of his legacy, such as the victory over fascism in World War II, and will describe themselves as either revolutionary communists or, if they desire to be more specific, as anti-revisionists.

    The term “Stalinism” was coined by Lazar Kaganovich and was never used by Joseph Stalin who described himself as a Marxist-Leninist.

    Stalinism has been additionally described as “red fascism”, especially in the United States after 1945,[1] but the term Stalinism had already gained international currency in the 1930s when the fight for political supremacy between Stalin and Trotsky was at its peak.” Source – Wikipedia, emphasis added.

  9. I certainly hope Obama enjoys his private luxury box paid for by American taxpayers while much of the nation is just trying to survive. I guess Obama really is an elitest because only an elitest would be able to function in this manner while tens of millioins of Americans are hurting.

  10. I can’t understand JT’s implicit charges of favoritism here. Judge Berry obviously wowed the presiding Judge with her Dogpatch-like good looks. Think “Mammy Yokum” here (I know I’m dating myself here), and well Prosecutor Wardell — who can resist a drunk hit-and-run babe in a sweat suit, especially a hypocritical one. I know I said I was going but who could resist this mess?

  11. Turley attracts a couple of liberals who don’t think Stalin was a liberal. If Stalin wasn’t a liberal, Jurley isn’t a Professor.

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