Miami-Dade Officer with Prior Driving Issues Involved in Parking Lot DUI Accident

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

A police officer was recently arrested for various DUI charges in Miami-Dade County after being involved in a series of accidents in a shopping center parking lot.  Ryan Robinson, 42, was involved in a minor accident with another car on Saturday, April 5.  When he was attempting to pull his car away from that accident, Robinson backed his car up when he meant to pull it forward.  Robinson ended up striking a shopping cart with two young girls in it, causing facial injuries to both children.  Witnesses at the scene filmed police performing a field sobriety test on Robinson.  Witnesses also stated that he smelled of alcohol and looked and acted drunk.  However, Robinson did refuse to take a breathalyzer, so there is no gauge on how high his BAC may have been.  Robinson was arrested on one count of DUI, one count of DUI property damage and one count of DUI with serious injury.

Public records show that Robinson has a history of accidents while on the job and even one alcohol related on the job offense.  Between 2004 and 2007, Robinson was in 10 separate accidents while on the job.  He was also involved in another accident in 2013.  Additionally, in 2013, Robinson was suspended for buying alcohol while in a marked police car, although he was off duty at the time.

Robinson is facing especially serious charges in this case because of the injuries that the two children got.  He was charged with a felony for those injuries, one that carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.  He also faces other charges for the property damage from the accidents and the DUI itself.  Those can also bring jail time and fines, and it is highly likely that he would lose his license for some period of time.

In addition to the normal criminal penalties he would face for this accident, Robinson also faces loss of his job for violating various ethical rules set forth for law enforcement by the state of Florida.  The very first ethical principle that Robinson had to agree to when he swore in as an officer was to follow the laws of Florida and the United States, both when he is on and off duty.  Specific to this principle is a rule stating that an officer cannot knowingly break the law, even when he is off duty.  By allegedly drinking and getting behind the wheel, it appears that Robinson did exactly that.  Because of this, it is likely that if Robinson is convicted, the Florida Department of Law enforcement will discipline him, making him unable to work in a law enforcement capacity again.