An East Hampton woman with serious facial injuries was brought before Justice Catherine Cahill on Monday to be arraigned on a charge of driving while intoxicated. Village police said Abigail M. Gallaher was riding a 2006 Vespa scooter when she crashed on Newtown Lane near the curve at Long Lane early Sunday evening.
“She’s got broken bones in her jaw and teeth,” Trevor Darrell, her attorney, told Justice Cahill. She was going straight from the courthouse to see an oral surgeon, he said. Ms. Gallaher’s face was badly swollen.
The first officer at the scene of the accident arrived at 6:45 p.m. The time may be important, because Mr. Darrell appeared to question, during the arraignment, whether his client’s blood had been tested within the prescribed two-hour limit after an arrest is made.
The officer had written in his notes that while speaking to Ms. Gallaher, he “could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage,” and that Ms. Gallaher said she had been drinking wine earlier.
She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, accompanied by the officer. According to the log, she was officially arrested at 9:28 p.m. While at the hospital, the police say she consented to a blood test, but the time of that test was not noted in the report police released to the press.
Ms. Gallaher was taken back to village police headquarters on Cedar Street after the hospital released her, and was held there for the remainder of the night until her arraignment the next morning.
Mr. Darrell went over the sequence of events with the justice, who released the injured woman without bail. He seemed to be questioning whether the arrest was made at 9:28 p.m., as noted in the report, or earlier, after the officer arrived. Justice Cahill set an Aug. 8 return date for Ms. Gallaher, which should allow enough time for the county crime lab to determine the results of the blood test.
Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen defended his officer’s actions Tuesday, saying that if an officer needs more time to determine whether an injured driver is intoxicated, he should ride with the person to the hospital to determine the sobriety level before making the arrest.
“There is no reason for us to rush,” the chief said.
Mr. Darrell did not return phone calls this week.
A one-car crash on Montauk Highway near Cemetery Road in Montauk early Friday morning ended with a New York City man facing a D.W.I. charge. Jeff A. Dieli, 29, reportedly told police he had swerved his 2014 Ford sharply to avoid hitting a deer, but bounced off a guardrail and careened across the road before coming to rest on the shoulder.
East Hampton town police said, however, that Mr. Dieli failed roadside sobriety tests. Back at the stationhouse in Wainscott, his blood-alcohol level was reported at .18, raising the charge to aggravated drunken driving. While still a misdemeanor, the aggravated charge is considered much more serious by the county and is prosecuted accordingly.
A Montauk man is facing a felony charge of driving with ability impaired by drugs after his arrest Friday morning at the end of Star Island Drive. An officer reported finding found the man, Daniel P. Fagan, 34, slumped over the wheel of a black 2010 Toyota Tundra, with the car’s transmission in reverse.
The officer knocked on the window, and Mr. Fagan lifted his head and rolled the window down, while taking his foot, which was on the brake, off it. The car began to roll backward, police said.
The officer told the man to put the car in park and turn off the engine, noting in the report that there was a pill jar in the car in plain sight. A search of the vehicle reportedly turned up a small plastic bag of cocaine.
Asked to perform field sobriety tests, Mr. Fagan “was very unsteady on his feet, and leaned against his car a couple of times for balance,” according to the report. Back at headquarters he refused to take a test that determines the level of restricted drugs in one’s blood, according to the police.
The charge against him is at the felony level due to a prior conviction on the same charge in 2008. He also faces a misdemeanor drug possession charge. Bail was set the next morning at $2,000, and his vehicle was seized by county police.
Three other drivers were charged by town police with aggravated D.W.I. this past week, meaning their blood-alcohol levels registered at least .18, well over twice the legal limit of .08. One of the three, Michael L. McCarron of Montauk, 22, reportedly hit the .22 level on the Intoxilyzer test at the station house early last Thursday morning. He had been pulled over after poorly negotiating a turn off West Lake Drive onto North Fernwood Road in Montauk.
He was freed without bail, but with a spot on the court’s criminal calendar.
Thomas Ravenel, a former South Carolina state treasurer said to have been contemplating a return to political life after serving seven months in federal prison on drug charges, was arrested in East Hampton Village early Monday morning. A video of Mr. Ravenel refusing to take the breath test at the station house will be preserved, said Village Chief Gerard Larsen, until it is requested by the office of the Suffolk district attorney.
“I was not drunk, and I look forward to making my case in court,” Mr. Ravenel said in a statement released Tuesday.
Mr. Ravenel was pulled over on Montauk Highway close to Stephen Hand’s Path at about 2:30 a.m. after swerving across lane lines and driving onto the shoulder, according to the log. He reportedly failed the roadside test that checks balance and coordination. He also took a roadside breath test, the results of which are not admissible in court. Village police do not release the results of those tests.
After being placed under arrest, Mr. Ravenel was taken to Cedar Street headquarters, where he allegedly refused to take an Intoxilyzer test. Refusal results in the automatic suspension of New York State driving privileges, followed, almost always, by revocation. Mr. Ravenel was scheduled for a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles today.
“He’s playing polo. He’s part of the Southampton Polo team,” Trevor M. Darrell, a local attorney who represented Mr. Ravenel during his arraignment in East Hampton Town Justice Court the next morning, told Justice Catherine A. Cahill.
“I’m a real estate developer,” the defendant told the justice when she asked him what he did for a living.
Mr. Ravenel, 50, was elected South Carolina’s state treasurer in 2006, but was forced to resign from office in 2007 and subsequently served time in federal prison on a cocaine possession charge. According to a 2009 Associated Press report, he was accused by the federal government of being part of a cocaine distribution ring.
Mr. Ravenel, who heads the Ravenel Development Corporation, has a plantation in the Low Country region of South Carolina. His father, Arthur Ravenel Jr., was a longtime member of Congress from South Carolina.
Mr. Ravenel has recently been doing a reality TV show for the Bravo network, with an eye on a return to politics, possibly even challenging Lindsay Graham in the Republican Senate primary next year.
Justice Cahill initially set bail at $750 cash, but Mr. Ravenel told her he could only access $600 with his debit card. He had $65 in his wallet, he added. “Okay, $650,” she said.
Mr. Ravenel is due back in East Hampton Town Court on Aug. 8.
A Springs man, Dustin A. Dutrieux, 19, was pulled over early last week after allegedly going 71 miles per hour in a 45 m.p.h. zone. Initially, police said, he tried to outrun them, swerving in and out of traffic. He is charged at the aggravated D.W.I. level and is also facing a reckless driving charge. Bail was set at $200.
Michael J. Scherer of Huntington Station, 35, was pulled over in Montauk early last Thursday by an officer who said he had made an illegal U-turn on West Lake Drive near Flamingo Avenue, striking the curb as he did so. His blood-alcohol level was said to be .20, and his bail was set at $500.
Others arrested on D.W.I. charges during the week were Itamar Gessler, 56, of Fort Lee, N.J., Camilo Ariza, 26, of Springs, Kristin A. Kenny, 31, of Staten Island, and Tommy Saleh, age not given, of New York City.
Justin Weiss of New York refused to take the breath test after being arrested early Monday morning, resulting in the immediate suspension and probable one-year revocation of his New York driving privileges.