Video shows Broward County judge refuse blood, urine tests after arrest

Judge Lynn Rosenthal pleaded guilty to lesser charge of reckless driving

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A newly released videotape in the DUI arrest of Broward County Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal shows conclusively she outright refused a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy's request to take both a urine and blood test that would have determined what, if any, drugs were in her system when she drove recklessly, striking both a patrol car and a security gate, in a courthouse parking lot on her way to work May 27.

Rosenthal, who wasn't drinking, claimed it was due to an Ambien pill she had taken to get to sleep the night before, but there was also a bottle of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax in her purse.

"Would you be willing to submit to the urine and blood test?" asked Deputy Michael Wiley.

"No," answered an uncooperative Rosenthal.

The videotape sharply contradicts public statements from Rosenthal made through her attorney, Brian Silber.

In an email to Local 10 New released Thursday, Silber wrote, "While she agreed to perform a urine test, the unsanitary conditions in the jail made her uncomfortable and she refused the officer's illegal request to draw blood."

Silber contended that Wiley "demanded a urine and blood test or nothing at all."

None of that is reflected in the actual video.

"So you're refusing any and all tests?" Wiley asked her.

"... Not any and all. I'll do a Breathalyzer no problem," said Rosenthal.

"Will you also submit to urine and blood tests?" asked Wiley.

"The answer is no to each of those," answered Rosenthal.

After refusing the urine test individually, Wiley offers her water.

"I couldn't do a urine test. I've been asking for water," said Rosenthal.

"OK, we could get you some water that way I could get you some water and when you have to go you could go ahead and do it that way," said Wiley. "The blood test is no problem. We can bring the ambulance."

"They were already here, so no," said Rosenthal. "I'll do a Breathalyzer test, no problem."

"We could do a breath test, but I'm going to tell you right now I don't suspect alcohol," said Wiley, adding later, "I believe it's chemical substances."

Later, Wiley again clearly gives her a choice to take either a urine or blood test.

"You don't want to submit to blood or urine to eliminate any other possibility?" he asked.

"I'm not going to do it," said the judge.

Rosenthal's attorney's claim that she wouldn't do the blood test because of "unsanitary conditions" also comes into serious question, since the video makes it clear the blood test would have been performed in an ambulance rather than a jail or holding area.

"What's in that video and what's in that press release just aren't the same thing," said William Gelin, after he watched the video.

Rosenthal also refuses to perform field sobriety tests in the facility, though she had done them earlier and, according to Wiley's report, failed to maintain her balance and missed all her heel-to-toe steps. Yet, while refusing to repeat the tests in the video, Rosenthal claimed, "I just did them perfectly. There's no reason to do them again."

At one point she asked to go "off camera," but Wiley refuses to avoid any hint of "impropriety."

Her refusal may have paved the way for a plea deal last week in which the DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving. She was sentenced to three months probation and 25 hours community service. She was reassigned to the civil division after her arrest but could return to the criminal division when the case is resolved.