Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio received an early release from jail on July 13 and, within days, according to court documents, is said to have violated the terms of her probation, which stated that she wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet — a transdermal testing SCRAM device — and abstain from any alcohol consumption.
Astacio, who was elected to a 10-year term in 2014, is due back in court today to face the probation violation charges.
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According to documents reviewed by the Democrat & Chronicle, her probation officer reported that Astacio failed to plug in the SCRAM’s base unit when released. Then, over the course of her first two days of freedom, the device detected a peak blood alcohol concentration of .127 per cent.
In New York, the legal BAC limit for being charged with driving while intoxicated is posted as .08 per cent.
Both offenses are considered a violation of the terms of her three-year-long probation period.
When queried, Astacio reportedly told her probation officer that the alcohol spike was due to the use of a cosmetic foot peel cream which contained a high level of alcohol.
WHEC reports that when recording the presence of alcohol, the SCRAM device does not differentiate alcohol present in drinks and in things like lotions, body washes or household cleaners. It is then up to experts to determine what specifically set off the SCRAM’s positive alert.
While Astacio’s lawyer denied that the result was due to drinking alcohol, prosecutor Zach Maurer told WHEC that he was told the results were ‘consistent with alcohol consumption, as opposed to some alcohol coming into contact with the device.’
Even if it turns out that the SCRAM results were due to an overenthusiastic application of a foot sloughing lotion, authorities said that defendants issued SCRAM devices are asked to read a list of banned, non-consumable substances that contain alcohol and then sign a clause acknolweding that using those substances constitutes a probation violation.