Speeding Stop Led to Arrest

John Patrick Dowd Jr. of Montauk was indicted by a grand jury Monday on his second felony drunken-driving charge in less than five years. T.E. McMorrow

Patrick John Dowd Jr., 32, who was arrested by East Hampton Town police on Feb. 28, was indicted by a grand jury Monday on a felony charge of drunken driving for the second time in less than five years. He is being held without bail.

According to police, Mr. Dowd was behind the wheel of a 2004 Ford with Florida plates, headed south on Abraham’s Path near Accabonac Road in East Hampton in the early morning, moving at 59 miles per hour where the speed limit is 30. The arresting officer said there was a strong odor of alcohol on Mr. Dowd’s breath and that he failed roadside sobriety tests. At headquarters, police said, a breath test had a reading of .12 of 1 percent, over the .08 mark that defines intoxication. 

The charge is a felony because he had a New York State conviction for drunken driving within the last 10 years. He was arraigned before the same East Hampton Town Justice who arraigned him after his arrest in August 2013. The charge at that time was driving while intoxicated with a 1-year-old child in the car. In New York State, drunken driving with a child 15 or younger in the car is a felony called Leandra’s Law. He ultimately pleaded guilty  in county court on Nov. 19, 2013.

The same issues that troubled Justice Lisa R. Rana during his 2013 arraignment resurfaced on Feb. 28: two prior arrests and at least one conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol in Florida, that state’s equivalent of New York’s D.W.I. law. He also had been charged with a violation of probation. Trevor Darrell, his attorney at the arraignment, entered a denial of the felony charge. 

Rob Archer, an assistant district attorney, asked that bail be set at $5,000, while Mr. Darrell said his client had never missed a court date. However, as she went over his criminal history during this arraignment, Justice Rana said, “The court is really concerned. The court finds the people’s bail request inadequate.” She set bail at $10,000, the same amount she had set in 2013.

After the grand jury acted on the case on Monday, Mr. Dowd was remanded. Bail will be set again at the county level after he enters his plea during his arraignment in Riverhead on Monday. 

 In other action on alleged drunken driving, East Hampton Village police arrested a West Islip man on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated on Feb. 28.

Brian Joseph Conroy, 53, was driving a 2010 Acura on Newtown Lane at about 10 p.m., at 40 miles per hour in a 25 zone and was swerving across the double yellow line, police said. He told the arresting officer he had had “three or four vodka drinks about an hour ago,” police said, and his breath test at headquarters produced a reading of .16. He was released last Thursday after being arraigned on $500 bail.

Another misdemeanor charge of drunken driving was leveled at Eileen O’Reilly, who has residences in Manhattan and the Clearwater Beach area in Springs. She was arrested by town police late Saturday night. Ms. O’Reilly, who is 56, was allegedly swerving across lane lines in a 2002 Jeep on Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road near Woodbine Drive without working taillights.

At headquarters, her breath test reportedly came in at .15. After spending the night in a holding cell, she was released without bail.