The Hamptons Police Department report an unprecedented 57 DWI arrests on New Year’s Eve this year, thanks in large part to dozens of driver emergencies, strange occurrences, chance, happenstance and the sheer unpredictability of a night out to celebrate the conclusion of another 365 days.
“We’ve drawn a hard line in the sand when it comes to drunk driving,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch explained in a statement Saturday. “We feel for our local drivers and the fact that all but three of those arrested were victims of circumstance and not really at fault—but we don’t give warnings or free passes anymore, no matter how valid the excuse.”
Hirsch said a number of drivers arrested were on the way to see their babies born or to rescue hurt and/or elderly family members. Many others had no way of knowing they would end up drunk and forced to drive after an evening watching the ball drop at the bar, or at friends’ parties.
“How is a guy supposed to prepare for this?” asked Ralph Buttercheck, a local fisherman and one of the drunk drivers arrested on Friday morning. “Yes, I brought a case of beer and two bottles of champagne to my buddy George’s New Year’s Eve party, but I couldn’t have predicted I’d be too drunk to drive home,” Buttercheck explained. “George should’ve served more food, maybe some milk to coat the stomach and some coffee at the end of the night,” he continued, adding, “Come to think of it, I blame him for this mess I’m in.”
In a bizarre set of coincidences, Hirsch said at least 25 of the night’s DWI cases told of experiencing something very similar to Buttercheck’s bad luck. “A lot of locals were not given enough food and coffee to sober up,” the spokesman noted. “Unfortunately, irresponsible party hosts aren’t the ones paying the price.”
Shana Ferscolletti, a 19-year-old student at Hamptons College in Wainscott, said she and several of her friends received DWI citations after a series of tough beer pong losses. “No one plays beer pong with the intention of losing,” Ferscolletti said. “I went out knowing I would only drink what I had to in beer pong and games of quarters, along with one or two red cups of champagne during New Year’s toasts—unfortunately I took some bad beats at the table and driving my car was the only possible way for me to get home.”
Another man, Darius Fistagio promises police he wasn’t drunk, despite blowing a 2.4 BAC at 3 a.m. Friday morning. As they approached his car, officers said Fistagio waved his hand and said, “This is not the drunk you’re looking for,” and then waited silently for a moment before realizing they weren’t going to leave. “It’s strange,” Hirsch said. “He was so confident and then continued to deny that he had consumed any alcohol whatsoever—frankly, we don’t know why he blew a 2.4,” he continued. “The man was definitely drunk. We just don’t know how he got that way without realizing it.” In spite of the almost paranormal situation, Hirsch said Fistagio was arrested and charged according to Hamptons Police Department policy.
“And he wasn’t the only person who experienced this mysterious drunkenness out of nowhere,” Hirsch added, pointing out that multiple drivers claimed to have no knowledge of how they ended up drunk behind the wheel.
Finally, Hirsch said a handful of celebrities were picked up on DWI and drugs charges, but, coincidentally, each and every one of them was researching a role for an upcoming film or television project, so “We let them go.”