Florida man drove drunk on scooter with dog in shopping bag, police say

Suspect said he had a vodka cranberry at 10 a.m., report says

PALM BAY, Fla. – A Florida man who was driving drunk on a scooter with a dog in a shopping bag was arrested Thursday afternoon on a DUI charge, according to the Palm Bay Police Department.

The incident began around 1 p.m. after a witness saw 61-year-old Robert Giampino's dog jump out of the shopping bag he was holding while riding down Bay Lakes Boulevard on his scooter, according to the report. 

Giampino stopped to get the dog, but instead ended up losing control of the scooter and setting it down, causing him to injure himself, the affidavit said.

"The dog decided that he didn't want to stay in the shopping bag he was holding any longer, jumped out of the bag. He came to a brief stop and then laid the scooter down and injured himself with some scuff marks on the knees and elbows," responding officer Darin Morgan said.

Police said they could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Giampino. 

"When I asked him how much he had to drink, he said he had two ounces of vodka that he had mixed with cranberry and ice," Morgan said.

Giampino claimed that he was taking his dog to the veterinarian when the dog jumped out of the shopping bag so he laid down his scooter, according to the report. He also told officers that he had a vodka cranberry drink at 10 a.m., police said.

Police said they arrested Giampino after conducting a field sobriety test. While at the Palm Bay Police Department booking area, Giampino's blood alcohol level was 0.094.

Giampino was arrested on a charges of DUI with property damage and DUI second offense. Police said he also had an active warrant for his arrest stemming from a violation of probation on a felony battery charge out of Sarasota County.

In 2015, authorities near Sarasota say Giampino attacked two people with a double-sided ax, holding the blade against a woman's neck.

Giampino was sentenced to a year in prison and three years probation, which he broke.

Giampino has prior DUI arrests and remains in the Brevard County Jail without bond.

About the Authors:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.