Justice: ‘Hire a Driver’

Local police recorded seven drunken-driving arrests over the weekend, presenting those charged with varying levels of legal difficulties. One arrest, that of Wuilson Belisario Villacis, is covered elsewhere in these pages.

East Hampton Town police stopped John C. Hulme, 62, of Greenwich Village on Montauk Highway in Amagansett early Sunday morning for failure to dim his headlights for an oncoming car. At his arraignment later that morning, Justice Lisa R. Rana said that Mr. Hulme has been convicted of driving while intoxicated within the past five years, making the current charge a felony. His blood-alcohol content was reported by the police to have been .16 of 1 percent, twice the legal limit.

Mr. Hulme told the court that he stays on his boat at the Montauk Marine Basin on weekends. “In the water?” she asked. “Yes,” he said.

Brian DeSesa, his attorney, said his client would not have a problem meeting the $1,500 bail amount set by Justice Rana.

Besides the D.W.I. charge, Mr. Hulme was charged with possession of marijuana, a violation. His driver’s license was automatically suspended and his car may be impounded.

“It’s a disaster for my life,” he told the court. “You know what? Hire a driver,” Justice Rana responded.

A Springs man’s blood-alcohol content was recorded at .08, just enough to put him in serious trouble with the law. Miguel G. Lopez, 41, who was arrested Friday night, is facing a felony charge of unlicensed driving as well as a charge of  misdemeanor D.W.I. Town police said they pulled him over on Three Mile Harbor Road in Springs for driving erratically and without headlights.

 “We’ve got a few different things going on here,” Justice Rana said at his arraignment the next morning. “There is an open bench warrant for D.W.I. in Southampton. He’s got stuff going on from 2006, a D.W.A.I. If you don’t make bail,” she told the man, “you’ll be back here on March 20.” Bail was set at $5,000.

Two friends of the defendant were in the courtroom. One, who refused to identify himself, said that the car Mr. Lopez had been driving was his, and it had been impounded.

“How do I get my car back?” the man asked in Spanish of Ana Kestler, a Justice Court translator. “It is a difficult process,” she replied.

Robert E. Young Jr., 23, of Wainscott, driving a 1995 Jeep Cherokee, was pulled over for faulty taillights at 2 a.m. Saturday, on Daniel’s Hole Road in East Hampton. He told the arresting officer he had had “one beer at Wolfie’s Tavern, and one rum and cola at his house earlier.” His blood-alcohol content was said to be .09.

The drunken-driving charge against him was his second such in East Hampton. The first one, in 2010, was reduced to driving with ability impaired.

“Was it me or Judge Cahill?” Justice Rana asked about his previous appearance in court. “I can’t remember,” said Mr. Young. He was released without bail in consideration of his ties to the community.

A little later on Saturday morning, town officers stopped Eusebio M. Perinhas’s 2012 Cadillac, saying he was driving 57 miles per hour in a 40 m.p.h. zone. Mr. Perinhas, 46, of East Hampton refused to take the breath test at  headquarters, meaning his in-state driving privileges will be revoked for one year.

At his arraignment, his attorney, Trevor Darrell, told Justice Rana that “he’s married. His wife is here.”

“He has one prior, from 1991,” Ms. Rana said.

While that conviction is old enough so as not to affect the misdemeanor level of the current charge, it would be taken into account by the Department of Motor Vehicles were it to review the defendant’s driving history. He was released without bail due to his ties here.

Sag Harbor police charged Jeffrey S. Buchman, 66, of Brooklyn last Thursday night after an accident on Union Street in which no one was hurt. Also charged with possession of marijuana, a violation, he was released without bail the next morning.

Darwin Augusto Pazmino Dominguez, 40, who lives in Southampton, was pulled over on Pantigo Road near Amy’s Lane Saturday night by an East Hampton Village officer who said he had been driving on the shoulder. Mr. DeSesa, who was in court to represent Mr. Hulme, volunteered his services for Mr. Dominguez, who entered a not-guilty plea. Mr. Dominguez’s alcohol level was said to be .15.

After the plea was entered the justice and the attorney discussed bail. Justice Rana indicated that $500 would be a fair amount. “He does have $400” in his wallet, which the police were holding, said Mr. DeSesa, and Justice Rana   agreed to that amount.

“I can’t drive to work?” Mr. Dominguez asked. “You cannot drive at all,” the justice answered. “For how long?” he asked.

“Until the case is over,” Ms. Ranasaid.