A prominent traffic attorney in West Palm Beach has been arrested and charged with DUI.
Following a traffic crash and his refusal to take roadside sobriety tests, William Abramson, a 40-year-old lawyer who ran in a heavily contested race for circuit court judge in 2008, was booked in the Palm Beach County Jail.
Around 1:26 a.m. Friday, West Palm Beach Police arrived at a crash scene at South Quadrille Boulevard and Hibiscus Street. There were reports that one of the drivers involved in the crash was "impaired," according to an arrest report.
At the scene, officers saw a gray Dodge 4-door facing north with heavy damage on its front end. A blue 4-door car had also been involved in the wreck and sustained minor rear-end damage.
Officers interviewed the driver of the blue car, Jerickson Santiago, who said he had been driving north when he turned on his turn signal on to turn right onto Hibiscus Street.
Raymond Stacker, a bouncer standing just past the front door of a club on the street, told police he "heard tires screech," the report says.
Stacker walked outside and saw the cars stalled in the road. The driver of the Dodge, later identified as Abramson, then got out of the car, and Stacker called police.
When the cops showed up, the report says, Abramson was sitting on a ledge in front of the club.
"I could smell the distinct odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath as he spoke to me," an investigator wrote in the report. "His eyes were bloodshot and glassy."
Investigators then asked Abramson if he would perform a roadside sobriety test.
"No," he said, according to the report.
Officers arrested Abramson and booked him in the Palm Beach County Jail. The officer noted in the report that Abramson's speech was "rapid" and his attitude was "calm and passive."
Jail records show Abramson remained in jail Friday morning.
Abramson got his Florida law license in 1992 and quickly joined the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office in 1993. It didn't take long for Abramson to garner attention.
An Aug. 25, 1993, memo listed several complaints from judges. One said Abramson caused three mistrials "because of prosecutorial misconduct," the Sun Sentinel reported in 2008.
Abramson resigned about a year later.
Abramson went into private practice in 1995 and began defending traffic and criminal cases.
He filed a lawsuit in 1997 - seeking damages of just $3 - over an assessment county officials tried to levy on traffic fines. He later sued his daughter's softball league after he was fired as head coach and threatened with arrest for not leaving the park, the Sun Sentinel reported in 2008. He later dropped the suit, records show.
In the 2008 election, Abramson's narrowly defeated circuit judge incumbent Richard Wennet. Mistakes in the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office prompted weeks of recounts and legal squabbling.
The Florida Supreme Court later determined Abramson should not be allowed to serve as a circuit judge in Palm Beach County because, after the disputed election in August, his law license was suspended for previous courtroom behavior.