Eight-grade science teacher Saryna Parker of South Dade Middle School was arrested on March 19 for allegedly causing a rear-end crash while driving under the influence with her 10-year-old son in the car. Parker, 43, also purportedly kicked the police officer who arrested her in the groin.
Parker faces multiple charges, including DUI, DUI with property damage, child abuse, and battery of a police officer. She was booked into jail and was later released on an unspecified bond. News sources did not say if she has hired an attorney.
According to the arrest report, the incident occurred on South Dixie Highway near SW 182nd Avenue in Homestead. Parker was reportedly driving a Cadillac with her son in the backseat when she crashed into the back of a van. No one was injured in the crash.
The responding police officer reported that Parker’s speech was slurred and he noticed a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. Parker allegedly told the officer that she “wasn’t driving” and that she needed to use the restroom. When the officer tried to grab her arm, she reportedly “violently pulled away” and walked toward a nearby Burger King to use the restroom.
After she was detained in handcuffs, Parker consented to a series of field sobriety tests. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was called to the scene to perform the tests. Parker failed to follow directions during the tests. The trooper made her attempt several sobriety tests, but she was reportedly swaying and unsteady on her feet. She could not keep her balance while listening to instructions, sources report.
At one point she allegedly touched the trooper on the back and told him that she felt like “kissing” him, the arrest report said. She refused to take a breath test, meaning she could have her driver’s license suspended for a year, and was placed under arrest.
Parker was “very belligerent” and “uncooperative” during her arrest. When she was placed in the back of a patrol car, she allegedly kicked an officer in the groin with her right leg and continued kicking the rear passenger-side door after she was secured in the vehicle.
An official from Miami-Dade Public Schools released a statement to the press saying Parker was a probationary teacher who “will be terminated.” She will never be allowed to work for Miami-Dade Schools again.
Florida has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country because of all the fatalities, especially of youth, that have been caused by DUI drivers in the state. As a minimum requirement, anyone convicted of DUI charges will receive a combined sentence that includes academic classes on drunk driving, driver’s license suspension, community service, vehicle impoundment, fines, court costs, and payment of restitution where appropriate.
Jail time for DUI charges varies depending on the type of DUI case. A DUI causing property damage is a misdemeanor charge with jail time of up to one year. In most cases, first time DUI offenders usually only receive probation with other conditions like community service, driver’s license suspension, etc., but no jail time.