East Hampton D.W.I. Sweep Snares Many

Defendants arrested in a drunken driving sweep were led into East Hampton Town Justice Court on Sunday morning. T.E. McMorrow

With 10 extra officers from law enforcement agencies across the East End on patrol, a sweep designed to snare driving while intoxicated suspects netted 11 arrests Saturday night into Sunday morning across East Hampton Town.

According to East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo, one extra officer came from each of the following departments: Quogue Village, Southampton Riverhead, and Shelter Island Towns, Suffolk County, and the Suffolk County Park Police. In addition, four officers from East Hampton's department were added to the patrols.

"They're not required to take regular calls for service," the chief said Monday. Instead, they focus strictly on traffic law enforcement, making stops for infractions, and usually just writing a summons.

All of the D.W.I. charges resulting from the arrests were at the misdemeanor level.

Ten of those arrests appeared to be the direct result of the operation, which employed saturation patrols, in which officers concentrate on busy thoroughfares where stops can be safely made.

The one exception was the arrest of a Shelter Island man who was involved in a one-car rollover accident on Route 114 Saturday night. Police said that Michael Earley, 23, was drunk at the time of the accident. After his arrest, he was taken to town police headquarters in Wainscott. There, he took a breath test, which police said gave a reading of .20 of 1 percent, a high enough blood-alcohol content to trigger a raised charge of aggravated D.W.I.

East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky presided over the arraignments in the town's justice court Sunday morning, a process that took almost three hours. He set Mr. Earley's bail at $1,500, which Mr. Earley said he would not be able to post.

The professions of those arrested during the sweep were a true cross-section of East Hampton during the summer: a graduate school student, a civil engineer, a restaurant manager, an accountant with a major New York accounting firm, two employees of local landscaping companies, a newspaper deliveryman, an executive assistant at an international banking firm, a luxury brand marketing consultant, a recent university graduate, and a mate on a local ferry.

Edward Burke Jr. of Edward Burke Jr. and Associates, received an early morning call Sunday from a friend of one of the defendants being arraigned. Mr. Burke, who is usually seen at the courthouse in business suits, drove there straight from the gym, wearing sweats and shorts. He was unaware that, besides his client, there were 11 other defendants waiting to be arraigned, none of whom had an attorney on hand. (The 12th arraignment was on a harassment charge stemming from a fight in Montauk.) "I'm not dressed like an attorney, but I swear I am one," he said to the friends of one of those.

In the end, Mr. Burke stood in for all 12 arraignments, with at least a couple indicating they would be retaining his services going forward.

One of the two women arrested sobbed, off and on, throughout the process. "This is my first time at this rodeo, hopefully my last," she said to an officer who was trying to console her, while she waited on the prisoner's bench.

When Justice Tekulsky told the woman she would have to post $300 bail, because she has no ties to the community, she answered that her money was at her Montauk summer rental and she had been unable to reach her housemates. As tears welled up in her eyes, Mr. Burke pulled $300 from his wallet and told her he would post the bail. "Thank you," she said, hugging him, still crying.

In what is a sharp contrast to many recent D.W.I. arrests on the South Fork, all 11 arrested consented to take the Intoxilyzer 9000 breath test. For several of them, that choice will likely prove much to their benefit, since their blood-alcohol readings were just over the legal limit. A low reading and no prior history of alcohol-related driving offenses almost always results in a plea-bargained driving with ability impaired by alcohol charge, a simple violation with no criminal record as an aftermath.

Aside from Mr. Earley, only one other defendant had a reading high enough to trigger the raised charge of aggravated drunken driving, according to the police. Zachary Weiss, 22, of Avon, Conn., had a reading of .20. Any reading of .18 or higher triggers the aggravated charge. "I am troubled by two things," Justice Tekulsky said during Mr. Weiss's arraignment, "that a person of your age would have a reading of .20, and your lack of ties to the community." He set bail at $1,000, which was posted.

One defendant had a prior conviction at the driving while ability impaired violation level. Zachary Zweig, 35, of Miami Beach and New York City, whose said his family has had a house here since he was born, had a reading of .13. Bail was set at $1,000, which was posted.

A South African man, Mark Rix, 30, who has made East Hampton Town his home the past couple of years was said by police to have blown a .16 at his breath test, twice the legal limit. He was released on $500 bail.

Others arrested during the sweep were Alphonso Paredes-Encalada, 37, of Springs, Jonathon Papaik, 31, who is staying in Amagansett, Marco Loja of East Hampton, and Edy Mer Monroy-Quintero of Springs.

Three of those arrested allegedly had blood-alchohol readings just over the legal limit. Elizabeth Anne Phillipp of New York, and Denise Scala, 44, of Edison, N.J., both had readings of .08, while Stephen Lampard, 34, of Port Washington was said to have a .09. A reading of .08 is the threshold to be considered intoxicated. None of the three have criminal records; all are almost certainly going to be allowed to plead down to a violation-level D.W.A.I. "The goal is to leave this without a criminal record," Mr. Burke was heard telling one defendant.

"Our patrols are actively seeking out D.W.I.s. The safety of our citizens is paramount," Chief Sarlo said. Visitors and residents should expect more such patrols in the coming weeks. The message: "Don't drink and drive," the chief said.