The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Judge's Wife, Jacqueline Bortner, Accused of DUI

The wife of York County criminal judge Michael Bortner has been accused of drunk driving, and, in an unusual move, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office will be prosecuting her case as opposed to the York County District Attorney, reports The York Dispatch.

Jacqueline Bortner was pulled over by Springettsbury Township Police in late November after someone called in to report an erratic driver, reports the Dispatch. After catching up with Bortner, police determined her blood-alcohol content (BAC) to be 0.22 percent, almost three times the legal limit in Pennsylvania of 0.08.

For the crime, 48-year-old Bortner could face a highest BAC DUI charge for driving with a BAC above 0.16. In the state, DUI penalties for first time offenders are graded depending upon the person's BAC. Someone with a BAC between 0.08 to 0.099 faces the basic penalties, someone with a BAC between 0.10 and 0.159 faces enhanced penalties, and someone with a BAC above 0.16 faces the most severe penalties and a mandatory jail term.

Jacqueline Bortner is reportedly not contesting the charge, and she and her lawyers may be working on a plea deal to avoid a jail sentence.

Nevertheless, Bortner and her attorneys will have to make a deal with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office. Because Bortner's husband is a criminal judge in the county, the York District Attorney asked that state prosecutors handle the case, given the fact that the county prosecutors would have to practice before Judge Michael Bortner on a daily basis.

Jacqueline Bortner was arrested for driving very drunk last year. She will now have to defend her case against state prosecutors rather than local district attorneys given her husband's influence in the county.

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