HUDSON, Wis. -- Police bodycam video shows Judge Eric Lundell asked for "police courtesy" when he was pulled over for suspected drunk driving in Hudson, Wisconsin. Despite blowing over the legal limit, he was not arrested.
Around 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday, Lundell - who had just moved out of his chambers - was stopped by police after clipping a metal pole near an ATM, KSTP reports.
On the video, officers said the 71-year-old man had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.
The two responding officers recognized Lundell. Sergeant Brad Kusmirek was called in for backup. The judge appeared to recognize Kusmirek.
Lundell: "Here's what's going on, Brad. My wife left me. I'm having a really bad time. I decided to retire, I'm retiring Jan. 1. I don't need this."
Kusmirek:"Well, I know what you're saying your honor, but you have to understand the position we're in correct?"
Lundell:"Well, where's the ol' police courtesy?"
The judge was persistent.
Lundell:"You can tell I'm not bad at all. You can tell that. So, just give me one police courtesy one time in my whole career. If you want to ride with me home, fine. Come on, Brad."
Kusmirek:"I'm going to handle this like I would for anyone else. I understand you want some police courtesy right now, but if I get caught or it gets released to the media that I didn't do my job because of who you are, my career is over."
Lundell eventually agreed to a field sobriety test. The officers asked him to stand on one leg.
"I can't do it," Lundell said. "I'll try again."
Despite failing that test, an officer told the judge he would not be arrested. The officer was backed up by his sergeant.
"Based on your age, I don't feel comfortable arresting anyone based off a one leg stand," the officer said.
After that, the officers asked Lundell to take a breathalyzer test. They said if it was low enough, he could drive himself home.
"You're a .129 sir," an officer said. "You are over the legal limit. I can't let you drive it anymore."
Still, no arrest.
Lundell:"I won't drink and drive, OK? Thank you for your courtesy."
Officer:"No problem. Have a good day sir."
Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems defended his officers.
"Anytime you have different officers different experience levels, different training, you have a potential for different outcome. Maybe," Willems said. "Maybe I would have arrested him. It depends. I wasn't there. I didn't see everything that he saw. "
Willems called the incident a learning opportunity. He said they could have asked the judge to do more sobriety tests before letting him go, but he doesn't believe Lundell received special treatment.
KSTP tried to get Lundell's side of the story, but did not receive a response from him.
Drunk Wisconsin judge pulled over, tries to avoid arrest: 'Where's the ol' police courtesy?'
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