A Springs man who was charged early Saturday with driving while intoxicated appears likely to be indicted by a grand jury for felony D.W.I.
Geraldo M. Lligui, 63, was arraigned that morning before East Hampton Justice Lisa Rana, who was also on the bench in April 2011 when he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drunken driving. She fined him $1,000 at the time.
“I was leaving work and I drank two beers,” Mr. Lligui began telling the justice, who cautioned him to say nothing more about Saturday’s arrest.
“You were in front of me in 2011, and you’re currently on probation,” she said. After a misdemeanor D.W.I. conviction, a subsequent charge within 10 years becomes an automatic felony.
East Hampton Town police reported stopping Mr. Lligui after he ran a stop sign at Fort Pond Boulevard and Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road in Springs. Back at headquarters, a breath test produced a reported reading of .17, over twice the legal limit.
His arraignment, which was translated via telephone by Language Line Solutions, was interrupted at one point when the phone system went out, shortly after Justice Rana had read out a long list of traffic charges in addition to the felony count: “Failure to signal, an insurance violation, driving with an obstructed view, driving with an open container of alcohol, a yielding violation, a stop sign violation, driving left of the pavement markings.” She paused, waiting for the translator to repeat her words.
There was silence at the other end. “Hello?” she asked.
The phone system at the courthouse has been bedeviled by problems for much of the year, though the problem in this case may have been on the other end. After about 20 minutes a new translator came on, and the arraignment was concluded. Bail was set at $5,000, which was posted by Mr. Lligui’s family. He is due back in court today.
A 2007 Nissan said by witnesses to have been speeding down Osborne Lane in East Hampton Village just before sunset Saturday ended up crashing into a utility pole on Cedar Street, and its driver was arrested on a drunken-driving charge. The car, which sustained substantial damage, was said to have sped through the Cedar Street stop sign before the crash.
The driver, Johnny R. Uzhca, 31, of Springs, was still seated behind the wheel when police arrived. He reportedly failed roadside sobriety tests.
Back at headquarters he called an attorney, and after that conversation, he refused to take the breath test. After spending the night in a holding cell, he was taken to court Sunday morning, where Justice Rana set bail at $350. It was promptly posted.
Because Mr. Uzhca allegedly refused the Intoxilyzer breath test, his license was suspended for a year, pending a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
An East Hampton man, Dylan M. Johnson, 23, was arrested early Friday morning on a raised drunken-driving charge, aggravated D.W.I., after his stationhouse breath test produced a reading of .27, well over three times the legal limit of .08 and far above the .18 level that triggers the aggravated charge.
A town police officer began following Mr. Johnson’s westbound 2007 Toyota after it allegedly crossed lane lines several times on Montauk Highway near Accabonac Road. He was pulled over in the village, on Main Street.
According to the police report, he first told the officer he had had a couple of beers “at the Talkhouse.” After his arrest, however, he was reported to have said, “I had way too much to drink . . . I should not have been driving.”
He was released on $250 bail after a morning arraignment.
Joel E. Kelsey of Springs, 21, was charged with D.W.I. in the early morning hours of Dec. 4. Police said his blood-alcohol content was .10. He was released without bail later that morning.
Finally, Segundo Porfirio Quezada, 48, of Southampton was charged with D.W.I. in East Hampton Village early Sunday. He was released on $350 bail later that morning.