Hillsborough County family court Judge Tracy Sheehan's advice rings true for many, including herself:
"Maybe there is something therapeutic about the concept of, ‘I don't want to be here. I don't want to be in trouble any further, I don't want to be chained up like a criminal,' " she told FOX 13 in an interview last June.
Now, 13 months later, she has taken that advice to heart after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Tampa Friday night.
"I stepped out of the car. The officer asked, ‘have you been drinking?' I said ‘yes I have,' and what ran through my mind was absolutely how idiotic I was to put myself in that situation," she said.
The night began like it could have for anyone else. Sheehan and a cousin went to dinner, then went to Ybor City for drinks and karaoke.
She said they left by 11 p.m and never thought twice about driving home.
"I frankly did not think, and that's the mistake. That's the error in judgment to have not stopped and evaluated the situation and said, ‘wow I shouldn't be behind the wheel,' " she said.
After the officer conducted a field sobriety test, Sheehan agreed to a breathalyzer test, which recorded her blood alcohol level at 0.171.
"While folks out there might say, ‘oh why did you blow, you nailed your coffin.' Well, I built that coffin and I wasn't going to evade it," she said.
Sheehan spent the night in jail and says it was a night she will never forget.
"As I lay there in the orange Hillsborough County Jail shirt, it occurred to me, I am sure deterred by this experience, and I will never find myself in this situation again," she said.
Judge Sheehan posted a $500 bond the next morning. She says she plans to plead guilty to the charge.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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