Broward Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal had taken Ambien before for ramming her SUV into a parked police cruiser in the parking lot of Broward County courthouse on Tuesday. She was arrested and booked into the Broward main jail on a DUI charge.
According to the police report, Rosenthal admitted to investigators that she had taken Ambien, a prescription sleeping pill, the night before her accident.
Police also say that Rosenthal was in an accident prior to the one at the courthouse as she made her way to work. According to the report, Rosenthal's account of that incident doesn't add up to what investigators discovered.
In addition to all this, the Broward judge requested that her mug shot be blocked from public view.
Rosenthal, 56, told authorities she was unharmed when she ran into the parked cruiser and then told them she was unharmed from her other accident "from earlier in the morning," according to the police report.
When questioned about the other accident, Rosenthal told police that a truck tried to run her off the road as she drove down I-595. She told them she had captured that incident on her cell phone.
According to the report, when reviewing the video, police saw Rosenthal's black BMW SUV drift across the highway and hit a barrier wall.
"The video did display that [Rosenthal] was unable to maintain a single lane, drove in the breakdown lane and failed to avoid a collision with a concrete wall," the report says.
Police noted damage to the BMW's driver's side and side-view mirror.
For the record, among many things, some of the side effects of Ambien are memory loss and hallucinations.
Rosenthal, who had served as assistant U.S. attorney beginning in 1985 and put away many on drug-trafficking charges over the years, was appointed by Rick Scott and sworn in in 2012.
Meanwhile, while in jail, Rosenthal cited a Florida statute to have her mug shot blocked from public view. She scribbled her request with a pen on paper with a BSO lieutenant as a witness.
The statute Rosenthal cites in the letter is a "general exemption from inspection or copying of public records" belonging to public officers.
Since she is a former assistant United States attorney, the law does protect her from having her mug shot splashed around the internet.
Below is a copy of the letter written by Rosenthal, which was obtained by JAABlog:
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.