Despite two well-publicized police sweeps targeting drunken drivers in recent weeks, arrests for driving while intoxicated show no sign of declining.
Laura A. Corredor, 22, of East Hampton was pulled over on July 24 at about 3 a.m. on Montauk Highway near Cove Hollow Road after running a stop sign and swerving over the double yellow line, police said. Back at the station house, her blood-alcohol content was allegedly recorded at .12 by the Intoxilyzer machine, a number that is admissible in court proceedings. At .08 or higher, a driver is considered legally intoxicated. East Hampton Town Justice Catherine Cahill set bail later that morning at $350.
At about the same time and location, Christian Zimmerman, 23, of Southampton reportedly ran the same stop sign before nearly colliding with the patrol car that had pulled over Ms. Corredor. Police said he failed roadside sobriety tests before being taken to headquarters, where his blood-alcohol was reportedly recorded at .16. Bail was set at $750.
On July 19 at about 3:30 a.m., an officer stationed in downtown Montauk reportedly watched as Edwin Medina ran two stop signs at the Plaza, turned west onto Montauk Highway, and crossed into the eastbound lane. Mr. Medina allegedly failed roadside sobriety tests, including a breath test, and refused to take the Intoxilyzer test at headquarters. Bail was set later that morning by Justice Lisa Rana at $2,500.
A roadside breath test is not admissible in court as evidence of a blood-alcohol count, while the station-house test is. However, refusing to take the Intoxilyzer test at the station house results in an immediate suspension of the driver’s privilege to operate a vehicle in New York State, according to East Hampton Town attorney Robert Connelly, who pointed out that driving is a privilege, not a right, allowing the state broad powers in application of the law.
Bernabe Lopez-Garcia, 32, of Hampton Bays was charged at 11 p.m. on July 25 after being stopped at Montauk Highway and Georgica Road. Police said he was swerving out of his lane and had a burned-out brake light. Bail was set the next morning at $300.
Cesar J. Rivera, 27, of Montauk was arrested at about 2 a.m. last Thursday by Sag Harbor police. He was released without bail, but with a future date in Sag Harbor court, later that morning.
Lindsay H. Reichart spent Friday morning, on her 23rd birthday, in Justice Court, charged with drunken driving. Her parents were seated in court as Justice Cahill explained the charges to Ms. Reichart, who was still in her summer evening dress from the night before. Her mother said her daughter had gone out with friends to celebrate her birthday. Justice Cahill told the young woman that because her blood-alcohol content had tested at .18, the charge against her was an elevated one, aggravated D.W.I., and her driver’s license was automatically suspended. She entered a plea of not guilty for Ms. Reichart and released her without bail. Ms. Reichart left the courtroom with her parents and began to sob.
Eric B. Hambleton, 45, was in court that same morning after being arrested by East Hampton Village police at 2:20 a.m. His blood-alcohol content was also at .18, so he too faced an aggravated D.W.I. charge. He gave a Manhattan address as his residence and said he was sharing a house in East Hampton for the summer. The judge set bail at $350 and warned Mr. Hambleton not to drive, because his license was now suspended.
Nicole B. Klughers, 24, of East Hampton, wearing a light summer evening dress, was arraigned Saturday morning after being stopped at about 3 a.m., reportedly for driving her 2012 Dodge at 55 miles per hour in a 30 m.p.h. zone on Montauk Highway. Police said she also failed to dim her high-beam headlights for oncoming traffic. Ms. Klughers told Justice Cahill she had recently been accepted to medical school, and was working for the summer as a waitress.
The court read out the police paperwork on the arrest, noting that Ms. Klughers had a blood-alcohol content of .12 when tested at the station house. The woman signed a form acknowledging that her privilege to drive a car in New York State had been suspended, then raised her hands to her face to wipe her tearing eyes. Bail was set at $350.
Derek S. Still, 26, whose license had a Pennsylvania address but who said he was now living in New York City, was in court Saturday morning as well. According to the police report, he had been driving a red Jeep on Napeague when he suddenly braked hard and pulled over, coming to a stop behind a patrol car that was on the shoulder, lights flashing, its officer conducting an unrelated traffic stop. The Jeep came within a few feet of the patrol car, the report says.
When asked for his license, Mr. Still reportedly handed over his passport, saying he didn’t have a driver’s license. He allegedly failed roadside sobriety tests. In addition to D.W.I. he was charged with unauthorized use of the car, after its owner told police that he had taken it from its parking space outside the Surf Lodge in Montauk without her permission.
Mr. Still told Justice Cahill in court that he was here for the weekend for a bachelor party; then acknowledged that he’d been arrested in Pennsylvania on an alcohol-related charge in 2008. The court noted that his blood content was reported at .23, and set bail at $500.
Paul Jacobsen, 35, an artist who lives in Brooklyn, was arrested early Sunday morning. He told Justice Cahill he was out the night before for a benefit art exhibit in Water Mill, where he had a piece on display. She told him his blood-alcohol count had registered .12, and she would set bail at $300. She asked him if he had the money, and he answered that his girlfriend would post bail.
“Will she show up?” the court asked.
“I hope so,” he said, and within a few minutes his girlfriend did walk into court.
The arrest of Luis A. Guanga, 36, of Springs was the last of another busy weekend on the roads. Because Mr. Guanga has a previous conviction, in 2008, for drunken driving, he is facing elevated charges, potentially even a felony charge. His bail was set at $2,000.