Judge Gets Education Program on DUI Charges

Monday, Dec 8, 2008  |  Updated 3:28 PM EDT
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Judge Gets Education Program on DUI Charges

WVIT

A state judge facing a drunken driving charge has been accepted into an alcohol education program that could keep her record clean.

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A state judge facing a drunken driving charge has been accepted into an alcohol education program.
 
Superior Court Judge E. Curtissa Cofield was arrested in October after, police said, her car hit a state trooper's cruiser in a construction zone on Route 2 in Glastonbury.
 
Despite other allegations in connection with Cofield's arrest, the judge hearing the case in Manchester Superior Court Monday said the only issues to be considered were the severity of the accident, which was minor, and reported injuries.  

An attorney for the trooper says his client suffered an arm injury when Cofield hit his car but there was no reference to the trooper’s injury in the police report and the state did not make an issue of it.

It has been reported that Cofield, who is black, went on a racist rant following her arrest and all of it was caught on video at the Glastonbury police station, where she was being processed.
 
The Manchester judge said matters other than the DUI charge would not be addressed in his court but would likely be considered in another forum, referring to the 'judicial code of conduct’.
 
There were many supporters for Cofield in the courtroom and several letters on her behalf were entered into the record. The judge said they would not be taken into consideration in making his decision and that Cofield would not be treated better or more harshly because of her standing as a judge.

During the proceedings, Cofield was asked to state her address, but she did not do so publicly because she's been getting “hate mail,” she said. Her attorney said the letters were so vicious that he had contacted police.
 
Following the judge’s decision to accept Cofield's application for the Alcohol Education Program, Cofield addressed the court and apologized to the community, friends, family, her colleagues on the bench and the trooper involved in the crash.
 
The trooper was not present in the courtroom. He had opposed Cofield's application to the Alcohol Education Program.
 
Any record of the DUI charge will be erased upon Cofield's successful completion of the program.

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