Driver: ‘I Had 12 Beers’

       With Christmas just around the corner, the naughty list was very short last week, with only one drunken-driving arrest in all of East Hampton and Sag Harbor.

       East Hampton Town police received a call from a Cedar Ridge Drive resident last Thursday night, reporting “unknown persons in the driveway.” The problem was, according to the police, that Victor H. Basantez-Macas, 30, of Springs, had driven into the wrong driveway and was having trouble getting out.

       An officer saw Mr. Basantez-Macas back out of the driveway “in an unsafe manner” and turned on his emergency lights, at which point the car pulled back into the driveway. When the officer approached, Mr. Basantez-Macas again put the car in reverse, but stopped when the officer told him to, the report says.

       “I had 12 beers at my house,” he told the officer, according to his court file. “I pulled into the wrong driveway, and the guy told me to get out.”

       Police said he failed roadside sobriety tests. Back at headquarters his level of alcohol consumption was confirmed; he was reported to have a blood-alcohol content of .19 of one percent, well over twice the legal limit and over the .18 reading that triggers a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated.

       Also charged with unlicensed driving, he was released on Friday morning on $350 bail.

       While the roads were quiet, East Hampton Justice Court was busy with previous D.W.I. cases. Most of the sentences handed out were fines, usually $1,000 for a first offense, but one woman is facing jail time.

       Shanika Dunmore of Bellport, who was arrested over the summer, agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor D.W.I. last Thursday. Justice Lisa Rana had noted at her arraignment in July that the woman had a previous conviction for an unspecified  felony.

       Ms. Dunmore also faced a felony charge last week of unlicensed driving, having been arrested on that charge many times.

       A Legal Aid Society attorney, Sheila Mullahy, representing the defendant, and Maggie Bopp of the district attorney’s office agreed on a plea bargain: In exchange for the guilty plea to the drunken-driving charge, the other charges would be dropped. Ms. Dunmore also agreed to serve two months in county jail.

       She told the court, however, that there had been a death in the family and that she had a funeral to attend this week. Justice Rana agreed to put off sentencing until today.