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Allegheny Co. Judge Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI

O'HARA TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- An Allegheny County judge is accused of driving under the influence after being arrested by state police over the holiday weekend.

Police say Christine Ward, 58, of Shadyside, was arrested during a traffic stop for erratic driving on Route 28 in O'Hara Township on Sunday.

It was an off-duty state police trooper who saw the incident and pulled the car over at a gas station on Fox Chapel Road. He called in the incident.

According to the police affidavit, the trooper said Ward, who was driving a black Mercedes, identified herself and "he noticed she had bloodshot and watery eyes."

The officer also said he detected "an extremely strong odor of an alcoholic beverage… emitting specifically from Ward's breath."

The officer reported seeing the judge "make very slow, sluggish and methodical movements and she staggered as she walked," the affidavit reports.

The officer said Ward had trouble standing on her own. According to the affidavit, she leaned on her car and attempted to grab the trooper's arm. When asked if she had anything to drink, the judge answered, "I did, too much."

Ward fell as the officer tried to conduct a field sobriety test, the affidavit reports.

Ward was arrested and charged with DUI, careless driving and other traffic violations.

She taken to UPMC St. Margaret's Hospital, where state police say she refused a blood test, three times.

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Ward was appointed to the bench by former Gov. Ed Rendell. She serves in the civil division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, as well as the Commerce Court.

KDKA's Lisa Washington called Ward's office for comment, but those calls were not returned.

Ward is being charged by summons and is scheduled to be in court for a preliminary hearing next month.

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