Charlotte judge faces misconduct hearing in DWI sentence

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) - North Carolina's Judicial Standards Commission wants to know why a judge decided to discard alcohol test results showing a DWI defendant had twice the legal limit of booze in his blood.

The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that the commission will hear misconduct accusations against Mecklenburg District Judge John Totten in November.

Totten denies intentionally violating the state's judicial conduct code.

The judge's decision last year allowed a drunken-driving defendant to avoid being punished as harshly as state law requires by not requiring him to have a breath-testing device installed on his car.

The Judicial Standards Commission charges don't say what might have motivated Totten or whether the judge knew the defendant.

Totten's formal response doesn't say why he did it.

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