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Miami Beach Officer Avoids Drunk Driving Charge for ATV Joyride
A Miami Beach officer crashed into two people on a beach during a drunken ATV joyride. Even though he was on duty and well over the legal alcohol limit, the policeman was acquitted of DUI charges. He was, however, convicted of reckless-driving, a verdict that could possibly lead to five years in prison.
The jury’s decision was reached after only two hours of discussion. Attorneys had what appeared to be a solid case, partly due to overwhelming evidence—both anecdotal and photographic— against the officer, but also because of glaring missteps in police procedure in the wake of the incident. One damning fact is that his fellow officers waited five whole hours to take a blood sample. Even at that point, his blood-alcohol content was still over the legal limit, measuring .088—indicating he could have been at double the legal limit when the crash occurred.
One victim had a hip injury, lost her spleen and suffered brain trauma. “She doesn’t remember things. She has uncontrollable emotions,” prosecutors told the jury. “She’s not working now. She may never work again. She is the unlucky one.” The other party had his femur broken and had to have a steel rod inserted in his leg.
The prosecutor pointed out that at least two experienced accident investigators were unaccountably taken off the case early in the enquiry. He went on to condemn multiple other Miami Beach police officers for their handling of the situation, insisting, “There is testimony he was treated differently by his fellow officers. It was all to his favor.”
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