The number of drunken-driving arrests made by East Hampton Town police last month was down by half from the March 2012 figure, from 24 to 12.
Capt. Michael Sarlo cautioned, however, that no inference should be drawn from the decrease. “Year to date, our number of arrests are just below where we were last year at this time,” he said Tuesday, while speculating that increased public awareness of the dangers and risks of drunken driving may also be a factor.
Town police made a record number of arrests for driving while intoxicated, 256, last year. Earlier this year, Chief Edward Ecker said that if anything, such arrests would increase in 2013 as the department fine-tunes its participation in the anti-drunk driving campaign sponsored by the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office.
The early spring calm continued last week, with only one drunken-driving arrest on the logs. According to the report, it had its genesis in some sloppy driving on Springy Banks Road, East Hampton.
On Sunday morning at about 5:30, Carlos A. Rac-Subuyuj of East Hampton, 34, was spotted coming off Springy Banks and driving north in the southbound lane of Three Mile Harbor Road. The arresting officer followed Mr. Rac-Subuyuj, who allegedly sped up, making a looping turn onto Muir Boulevard.
The officer turned on her overhead lights, but the driver continued on, making the hairpin turn where Muir Boulevard turns into Old Fireplace Road, where, the officer reported, he almost lost control of the vehicle, which “nearly struck numerous trees before coming to a stop in the roadway.”
Mr. Rac-Subuyuj appeared intoxicated to the officer, who had him perform standard roadside sobriety tests, all of which he reportedly failed. Back at the stationhouse, he submitted to the Intoxilyzer 5000 chemical breath test. The result was recorded as .19, over twice the legal limit, elevating the D.W.I. charge to the “aggravated” level. He was also written up for failing to signal before making a turn, driving on the wrong side of the road, and driving without a license.
Bail was set in East Hampton Town Justice Court later that morning at $750 by Justice Catherine A. Cahill, who is contemplating a run in November for a sixth term on the bench.