Four men ended their New Year’s Eve revelries on an unhappy note last week, winding up in handcuffs on charges of driving while intoxicated.
Town Justice Lisa R. Rana convened an early-morning court on New Year’s Day to handle the arraignments, with the court’s newest interpreter, Ana Kestler, on hand. Three of the men were Ecuadorian immigrants, and the fourth was from Colombia; none spoke English.
While all four cases involved first-time offenses, the immigration status of two of the defendants could be affected by their arrests.
Daniel A. Gomez of Springs, 24, was pulled over on Old Stone Highway in Springs a little before 3 a.m. when town police noticed that the lights on his license plate were out. He failed roadside sobriety tests, according to the report, and was taken back to headquarters in Wainscott, where police said he refused to take a breath test. Besides the D.W.I. charge, he was charged with unlicensed driving.
“There is an immigration hold on you,” Justice Rana told the man as she set bail at $750. “If you make bail, you may not be released.” Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department officers transported him later to the county jail in Yaphank, where he remained as of Tuesday.
Oscar D. Herrara-Loaiza, 48, of East Hampton was pulled over on Abraham’s Path near Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton at about the same time; police said his 2002 Saturn had been swerving across lane lines. He too was charged with unlicensed driving, and the alcohol-related charge was raised to aggravated D.W.I. after his blood-alcohol content was recorded at .18. Bail was set at $500, which family members posted. Mr. Herrara-Loaiza was released with a future date in court.
Wilson Pena-Tacuri, 24, of East Hampton, like Mr. Gomez, is being held in Yaphank. He was stopped on Springs-Fireplace Road after driving erratically, police said, at about 5 a.m. Justice Rana noted during his arraignment that he faced five traffic infractions in addition to the drunken-driving charge, including unlicensed driving and driving with an open container of alcohol in his 2002 Honda.
“I have a question,” Mr. Pena-Tacuri said toward the end of his arraignment. “What happened to me. . . . ” Justice Rana interrupted him. “I don’t want to know what happened. Anything you say can be used against you by the prosecution.” She cautioned him that his immigration status could be in jeopardy. He is due back in court on Feb. 6.
The fourth man arraigned that morning had spent the night in a holding cell on Cedar Street courtesy of the East Hampton Village Police Department. According to the report, Luis A. Loja Quizhpe, 22, of Springs was driving on the shoulder of Main Street near Mill Hill Lane, with his car trunk open, when he was stopped. He failed a field sobriety test, police said, and declined to take the breath test.
His 2002 Honda matched the description of a car that had fled the scene of an accident on Route 114 less than an hour earlier, according to a town police radio report. Town police said the Honda had rear-ended a southbound 2013 Toyota that was stopped on 114 near South Breeze Drive, and issued Mr. Loja Quizhpe a summons for leaving the scene of an accident.
Bail was set at $500, which was posted. The Honda was impounded by the county.
Also arrested on D.W.I. charges last week was Derrick D. Smith, 34, of Springs, who was stopped early Sunday morning on Three Mile Harbor Road in Springs after allegedly swerving across the double yellow line. Town police said Mr. Smith had gone off the road and hit a tree just yards from his Glade Road house, then driven away. He next struck a mailbox on Woodbine Drive, they said, and again drove away. His 1997 Toyota had damage on its front end and driver’s side.
Mr. Smith was released later that morning without bail, due to his connections in the community, but with a future date in court.