Warmer weather and improved road conditions last week had more drivers getting out and about, and the number of drunken-driving arrests went up a little as well. Altogether, four local residents were taken into custody.
The most serious charges were leveled against a Sag Harbor man on Friday night. Police there said they saw David A. Larkin, 35, with his wife and 14-month-old child in the car, “backing unsafely from a parking spot on Main Street, across the double-yellow line,” to turn in the opposite direction. An officer followed and pulled the car over on Route 114 just across the bridge.
Asked why he had crossed the dividing lines, Mr. Larkin told the officer that “he did not know you could not do that.”
At first, the officer noted, he said he had had only one drink. But after failing field sobriety tests, including a roadside breath test in which his blood-alcohol content reportedly registered just over twice the legal limit, .17, he reportedly acknowledged that “my wife and I shared a bottle of wine.”
Back at Sag Harbor Village headquarters, he was charged with a violation of the state’s Child Passenger Protection Act, Leandra’s Law, which makes driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs with a child in the car a felony. He was also charged with drunken driving, aggravated unlicensed driving, and endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors, and spent the remainder of the night in police custody.
Mr. Larkin was released in the morning on $2,000 bail. He would have to be indicted by a grand jury before being tried on the felony charge.
East Hampton Town police accused three men of D.W.I. over the week. Frank Giannattasio, 44, of Springs was pulled over on Three Mile Harbor Road at 2 a.m. Saturday after an officer reported seeing his Chevrolet pickup swerve repeatedly across lane lines. The officer noted that Mr. Giannattasio told him, “I had some Southern Comfort. I’m not that drunk.”
After reportedly failing the roadside sobriety tests, Mr. Giannattasio was taken to police headquarters in Wainscott, where he was said to have refused the stationhouse breath test. He was additionally charged on that count, as well as aggravated unlicensed driving. Bail was set at $100, which was posted.
Two young men were arraigned on D.W.I. charges in East Hampton Justice Court Sunday morning, with the father of one and both parents of the other sitting in the courtroom. Both fathers spoke in the hallway outside as they waited for their sons to be brought over from headquarters.
“He should know better,” one said. “He is going to have to pay for this himself,” said the other.
Paul A. Dorega of Sag Harbor told Justice Tekulsky he has lived in the same house with his parents for all of his 19 years. Matthew W. Schuppe told the justice he had just moved out of his parents’ house.
“You are lucky men to have your parents come down here,” Justice Tekulsky said. “Not everyone is so lucky.”
Both young men were said to have cooperated with the police. They were released without bail, but with a future date on the court calendar.