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Judge accused of DWI has driver's license suspended

Judge Leticia Astacio

Rochester, N.Y. - A Rochester City Court judge accused of DWI has had her driver's license suspended for a year.

Judge Leticia Astacio appeared in DMV court Monday to fight the automatic revocation of her license. This stems from an incident last month in which State Police said she crashed her vehicle.


Trooper Chris Kowalski testified at Monday's hearing that, on February 13, Judge Astacio was stopped on the shoulder of 490 westbound.

He said the driver and passenger-side windows were rolled down. He said the vehicle had two flat tires on the driver's side, the front fender was bent and a headlight was smashed in.

Trooper Kowalski said he asked Judge Astacio if she was possibly in an accident, but she didn't respond. He said he then invited her outside the car to see the damage.

The trooper said Astacio had a heavy odor of alcohol on her breath, glassy eyes and mumbled speech.

He asked if she'd been drinking, to which she replied "I don't have to talk to you and you're making me feel uncomfortable. I don't know if you're going to shoot me."

Trooper Kowalski said that made him feel uneasy.

He also testified that she refused to take a breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests because of a brain injury that affects her balance. Kowalski said she showed him a scar on the back of her neck.

"As anybody knows who's had a significant concussion or brain injury, it's unfair. You can't do it. And she wisely, and perhaps based on her experience on the bench, recognized that she (would) be unable to successful complete those tests. And her unsuccessful completion of those tests would obviously be used against her. So, it's a decision I would have made at the time too, if I had that kind of brain injury," said Ed Fiandach, Astacio's attorney.

Fiandach said he plans to appeal the decision on Monday, saying there's no proof the judge was drinking when State Police approached her car.

She is expected back in court on April 25th.

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