East Hampton Town police charged Jo Becker, 50, of Manhattan, with misdemeanor drunken driving Saturday night in Montauk after stopping her 2014 Mercedes-Benz on South Edgemere Street. The arresting officer reported that the car had veered into the oncoming lane several times, and that the driver had failed roadside sobriety tests.
Back at headquarters in Wainscott, police said Ms. Becker refused to take the breath test, and also refused to sign a document acknowledging that she had been asked to take the test. “I refuse to sign anything,” she was quoted as saying. “Also, I’m not going to wake up my lawyer.” It was a little after midnight at the time.
During her arraignment Sunday morning, Justice Steven Tekulsky asked a series of standard questions that help the court to determine bail. He asked if she was employed, and she responded that she was a writer for The New York Times. Ms. Becker won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2008 for her work the previous year at The Washington Post, a series of articles about Vice President Dick Cheney written in collaboration with Barton Gellman.
Justice Tekulsky told her that her license was suspended because of her refusal to take the breath test, warned her not to drive, and released her without bail, with a return court date of June 8.
Between May 1 and Tuesday morning, town police charged eight other motorists with driving while intoxicated. All of them agreed to submit to the breath test at headquarters; several produced high readings.
Michael W. Peluso of Springs and Manhattan, 54, was pulled over Saturday night on Accabonac Road, East Hampton, after failing to signal a turn from Collins Avenue, according to police, who said his 2012 Ford Edge had also failed to yield for an oncoming car. “I had one drink at Nick and Toni’s,” he reportedly told the arresting officer. His breath test, according to police, recorded a reading of .21, which raised the misdemeanor charge to the aggravated level. Mr. Peluso was released without bail at his arraignment Sunday morning.
On the night of May 1, a Brooklyn man, Luke D. Perrin, 36, was stopped in the same place and for the same reason, police said: failure to signal. His breath test reportedly produced an even higher number than Mr. Peluso’s, at .22. Bail, set at $500, was posted.
A Montauk woman also faces the charge of aggravated D.W.I. Margaux C. Bogetti, 30, was driving a 2010 GMC pickup when she was pulled over on Edgemere Street there on May 2. “I know I was going a little fast,” she reportedly told the officer, who agreed, writing her a ticket for driving 62 miles per hour in a 40 m.p.h. zone. Police said her breath test produced a .21 reading. She was freed without bail at her morning arraignment.
Two drivers just missed the aggravated-level charge, allegedly testing at .17. Police stopped a 1987 BMW driven by Jignesh U. Patel of Manhattan and East Hampton on Springy Banks Road, East Hampton, Saturday night after reportedly clocking it at 45 miles per hour in a 30-m.p.h. zone. The arresting officer followed Mr. Patel as he merged onto Hand’s Creek Road, then onto Alewife Brook Road, where he turned abruptly into a driveway. The officer said Mr. Patel was in possession of a small quantity of cocaine, leading to another misdemeanor charge. He posted $250 bail on Sunday morning.
Adriana Nava of Springs, in a 2015 Lexus, was stopped Monday night on Old Stone Highway in Springs — once again, failure to signal was the cause, according to police — and released without bail Tuesday morning.
The highest bail of the week, $2,000, was set Monday for Hector Leonides Sinchi-Tacuri, 25. Police had stopped his 2000 Toyota on Race Lane in East Hampton after allegedly seeing him talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving. The reason the bail was so high for Mr. Sinchi-Tacuri, whose breath test, at .11, was relatively low, was that he lives in Chicago. He posted bail on Tuesday morning after agreeing to be in East Hampton for all scheduled court appearances.
Xavier M. Pucha-Quituizaca, 32, of Springs was stopped Friday night on Harbor Boulevard near Lincoln Street in Springs after his 2006 Ford wound up on a grassy road shoulder. His reported .08 reading was the week’s lowest, just high enough for the charge. He was released Saturday morning without bail.
Ivan Salcedo of Southampton, 30, was arrested on Stephen Hand’s Path early Sunday morning after town police said they saw his 2005 Honda swerving across lane lines. His .12 reading and lack of a criminal record, plus his roots in the community, earned him freedom without bail.
In Sag Harbor early Sunday morning, police charged Matthew D. Mittenthal of Manhattan, 30, with aggravated drunken driving after stopping his 2013 BMW X3 on Main Street for speeding. He was going 39 miles per hour, police said, in a 20-m.p.h. zone. His test reportedly produced a reading of .19, and he was held several hours for a morning arraignment, where bail of $500 was set and posted.