MIAMI - A former Miami Beach police officer convicted of striking and seriously injuring two people while joy-riding with a woman on the beach using a police all-terrain vehicle was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday.
Former officer Derick Kuilan was convicted last month of reckless driving but acquitted of driving under the influence.
Prosecutors say Kuilan was legally drunk while on duty in 2011 when he invited a woman at a South Beach nightclub bachelorette party to take the beach ATV ride.
Evidence showed that Kuilan had a blood-alcohol level above Florida's 0.08 legal limit. But the defense showed a second blood test that put Kulian's alcohol level below the limit, about five hours after the crash.
Kuilan, who did not testify, spoke during Thursday's hearing.
"I am not the person that the media portrays," he said. "I am not the person that the newspapers portray. That's not the person I am."
Kulian said he "never stopped caring or thinking of the well-being of the two victims."
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