Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota has obtained grand jury indictments against three local men following their arrests in recent weeks on felony charges of driving while intoxicated.
Rody D. Tapia, 39, of Springs, who has a previous D.W.I. conviction within the past 10 years, was charged on Oct. 27 following an accident in his own driveway. He is out on $10,000 bail, awaiting arraignment in the criminal court building in Riverhead on Dec. 11.
Yly Y. Gonzalez, 35, of Amagansett was arraigned in Riverhead on Nov. 24 on two felony drunken-driving charges as well as two misdemeanors. Mr. Gonzalez was said to have had his 14-year-old son in the car when town police arrested him on Nov. 17. Had the boy been 15 at the time, he would not be facing felony charges.
Bail was set at $5,000. Mr. Gonzalez is being held in the county jail in Yaphank.
Jaime Sanchez-Toledo, 29, was indicted on Nov. 15 and arraigned in Riverhead on Monday. In addition to felony D.W.I. he faces a felony count of unlicensed driving. He is out on $7,500 bail.
Another local man, James J. Brennan of Northwest Woods, pleaded guilty to felony D.W.I. on Nov. 18 before Criminal Court Justice Richard Ambro. Mr. Brennan, who has had at least two alcohol-related convictions in the last 10 years, was arrested here on Aug. 21 and released without bail by Justice Ambro on Aug. 29, following arraignment. He awaits sentencing.
Driving rain and a howling cold wind kept cars off the roads on Thanksgiving Eve as combined police forces were on the lookout for drunken drivers. There was just one arrest during the sweep, at about 4 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, when an East Hampton Town officer stopped a 2013 Volkswagen at the corner of Main Street and Mill Hill Lane in the village.
Paul J. Munoz, 31, had swerved across the double yellow lines, the officer reported. Mr. Munoz failed roadside sobriety tests, according to the report, and refused to take the station-house breath test, resulting in an automatic one-year suspension of his license.
East Hampton Town Justice Catherine A. Cahill set bail at $750 later that morning after learning that Mr. Munoz had a few misdemeanor charges on his record.
A Springs man, Wilfor H. Lopez, 22, was reportedly driving on the wrong side of Three Mile Harbor Road near Abraham’s Path early Sunday morning when town police stopped his 1999 Mitsubishi. He failed the field test and was taken back to headquarters, where, police said, his blood-alcohol content was recorded at .16, twice the legal limit. There was one passenger in his car, an East Hampton man who was arrested for drunken driving twice in one week over the summer; those charges are pending.
Mr. Lopez’s bail was set later that morning at $350, which he posted.
In the week’s final alcohol-related incident, Eileen A. Hickey-Hulme, an artist who has a studio in Montauk, pleaded not guilty in Justice Court yesterday to charges of driving while ability impaired and resisting arrest. Town police stopped her early Sunday morning on Napeague after the license plate on her 2013 Jeep triggered a suspended-registration reading on their scanner.
Ms. Hickey-Hulme “was very abusive and defiant” upon being pulled over, police said, insisting that her registration had not been suspended for an insurance lapse. Suspecting that she was intoxicated, an officer asked her to step out of the car for a sobriety test, but she refused. “The defendant was calmly asked repeatedly to exit the vehicle,” the report says.
More officers arrived. Trying to get the woman out of the Jeep, one managed to get halfway into the passenger side and another got through the window on the driver’s side, at which point, police said, the driver “attempted to pull away.” The five-foot-two-inch Ms. Hickey-Hulme “was eventually handcuffed and subdued.”
After speaking to an attorney, she consented to take the stationhouse breath test, which reportedly returned a blood-alcohol level below .08, but still high enough for the reduced D.W.A.I. charge.
“They can charge you with anything,” Ms. Hickey-Hulme said yesterday as she entered the courthouse. Justice Cahill released her without bail.