Damian Donaire of Miami Beach, Florida was arrested on March 4 after allegedly driving his Land Rover into the back of a parked Miami Beach patrol car. Donaire, 22, was reportedly under the influence at the time of the crash. He is being charged with DUI and DUI with damage to property or a person.
Miami Beach spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez told news sources that an officer was sitting in the car when the crash occurred. The officer was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
According to the arrest report, two Miami Beach patrol cars were parked next to each other at 6800 Collins Avenue when A 2004 Land Rover SUV that was reportedly speeding crashed into the back of the police car that was parked to the right. The impact sent the Land Rover into the right rear of the second patrol car.
Donaire was identified as the driver of the Land Rover. When he was taken out of the vehicle, police claim to have smelled alcohol on his breath. In addition, his face was flushed and he had bloodshot eyes, sources allege. Donaire failed a field sobriety test and blew .082 and .088 on a breath test, the report said. The legal limit in Florida is .08.
Another accident was reported in Okeechobee County on Sunday. It led to the death of Caroline Alfano, a student at the University of Florida, and her passenger. Alfano, 20, was traveling home from the Okeechobee Festival when a driver slammed into the back of her SUV as she was waiting at a stop sign on State Road 710 near SE 128th Avenue.
The impact pushed Alfano’s vehicle into two SUVs that were in front of her, but the people in those vehicles, from Lake Worth and Delray Beach, were not injured. Alfano was rushed to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, where she died a few hours later. Her passenger, whose identity has not yet been released, died instantly.
The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash has been identified as Joseph David Lagrego of Englewood. He was taken to a hospital in serious condition. Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the crash. It is unclear if alcohol was a factor.
Records reportedly show that Lagrego, 22, has been cited at least eight times for speeding, causing crash involving property damage, and failing to obey a traffic device.
Because of all the fatalities, especially of young people, that have been caused by drunk driving, the Florida Legislature has passed some of the most demanding DUI laws in the U.S. As a minimum requirement, a driver convicted of a DUI usually receives a combined sentence that includes academic classes on drunk driving, driver’s license suspension, community service, psychosocial evaluation, vehicle immobilization, fines, court costs, and restitution when appropriate. Jail time varies depending on the type of DUI case.
Miami-Dade County has a pervasive DUI and hit-and-run problem. Along with Broward County and Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County is one of the top three counties in Florida for hit-and-run accidents, sources say. Law enforcement officials are taking extra precautions to prevent DUI accidents by assigning officers specific stretches of the expressway to monitor for potential drunk drivers.