Hillsborough Judge Tracy Sheehan pleads guilty to DUI

5:59 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida -- Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Tracy Sheehan appeared briefly in Pinellas County Court Friday morning to plead guilty in her DUI case. 

In early July, the 53-year-old was arrested for drunk driving after a night out in Ybor City. She was sentenced to a year of probation.

Judge Sheehan, who was elected to the bench in 2007, also had her driver's license revoked for six months. She has already completed DUI school and was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

In addition, there will be an interlock device placed on her car where she will have to blow into a system for the car to start.  She must also pay more than $1,500 in court costs.

The DUI arrest took place on July 5 when Judge Sheehan and her cousin were leaving a parking garage. Sheehan spent the night in jail.

According to an arrest report, the judge's car was seen drifting across multiple lanes. The officer noted that there was alcohol on the judge's breath and that her eyes were "bloodshot." Also, her speech was slurred, according to the arrest report. Her blood alcohol level was .171, records show. Florida law notes that when a driver's blood-alcohol content is .08 or above, a driver is considered under the influence. 

Sheehan told media prior to her court appearance today that what took place was a "horrible decision" on her part and she "regrets" what happened. She also noted that she did not want this arrest to reflect poorly on the judiciary.

Judge Sheehan did not provide comment after her court appearance today due to rules, her lawyer says, where she is prohibited on speaking publicly as she is bound by the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

"We do not want her statements taken out of context," says defense attorney Steve Romine. "She got out in front of this and is accepting responsibility. She is embarrassed, but is a good judge. People make mistakes. She will continue to be a good judge and do good work on the bench." 

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