Passed Out, Facing Charges

East Hampton Town Police made three arrests this past week on drunk driving charges. All were charged at the misdemeanor level.

Jose Verdugo-Avila, 39, of Springs, was found behind the wheel of a 1996 Ford pickup on the shoulder of Springs Fireplace Road, passed out, engine running, police said, a little before 7 AM on May 17.

At headquarters, his breath test came back with a .178 reading. Police always round the number down for the official figure supplied to the court. With a reading of .17, Verdugo-Avila just missed the .18 mark that would have raised the charge to the aggravated level. “I had five or seven Coronas,” he had reportedly told police. Because of the time of the arrest, he was not taken to be arraigned until that afternoon.

“Despite the fact that you have no license to begin with, you continue to drive,” East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky told Verdugo-Avila. He said that Verdugo-Avila had been convicted less than a year ago on an unlicensed driving charge in Westhampton Beach.

After he suspended Verdugo-Avila’s “non-existent driving privileges,” Justice Tekulsky warned, “Your days of driving without a license are over.” He subsequently warned him that if he were arrested again on another unlicensed driving charge and convicted, he would face jailtime.

Verdugo-Avila posted $500 bail.

Michael Scafuro was driving a 2007 Jeep home from his job as a bartender in the dock area of Montauk, headed south on West Lake Drive, when he was pulled over early morning Friday. Police said his license plate lights were out, and that he was driving with an obstructed view of the road.

Suspecting that he was intoxicated, the officer had Scafuro, 31, perform roadside sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. “I had two beers at work, and two glasses of wine at my house,” he reportedly told the officer.

Placed under arrest on a driving while intoxicated charge, as well as a charge of unlicensed driving, he was taken to headquarters, where a breath test produced a reading of .18 of one percent, well over the .08 reading that defines intoxication, and high enough to raise the misdemeanor charge to the aggravated level.

He was arraigned later that morning in front of Justice Tekulsky. Scafuro told the court that he is staying in Montauk for the second summer season in a row to work, and that the East Wareham, MA address on his expired driver’s license is his winter address. Justice Tekulsky told him that, as of that moment, his privilege to drive in New York State was suspended. Bail of $500 was posted.

Jonathan Llivicota was driving a 2006 Jeep on Springs Fireplace Road early Saturday morning when he was pulled over near Cedar Ridge Drive for swerving across lane lines, according to the police. “I had like a beer or two,” he reportedly told them. The 25-year-old carpenter is an East Hampton resident. At headquarters, his breath test produced a .16 reading, the police said. He was released on $300 bail after being arraigned later that morning.

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