Over the past year or so, East Hampton Town police have kept a watchful eye on Town Lane, a narrow road where area residents have long complained of drivers speeding. Just before midnight Friday, August 2, a 2019 Mercedes Benz was clocked doing 91 miles per hour on the 30-mph roadway, leading to a traffic stop, the police reported. According to the police, they pulled over the eastbound Mercedes, being driven by James Cooke, 44, near Spring Close Highway.
Cooke, who has a Florida driver’s license but also owns a house in East Hampton Village, appeared intoxicated, the arresting officer said, and failed roadside sobriety tests. Placed under arrest on a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge, he was taken to headquarters, where he took a breath test that allegedly showed his blood alcohol level to be .17 of one percent, over twice the .08 mark that defines intoxication in the state, Justice Steven Tekulsky pointed out during Cooke’s arraignment the following morning.
Tekulsky told Cooke that his driving privilege in the state of New York was suspended. As a first-time offender, Tekulsky said, Cooke is eligible to apply for a hardship license that would allow him to commute to work every day. He was released without bail.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, a conviction for speeding 41 miles per hour or more over the posted limit accrues the driver 11 points, and a possible suspension.
The East Hampton Village police arrested Brahna Ruth Yassky, 70, after a traffic stop on Cedar Street near Cooper Lane the night of Thursday, August 1. Police said Yassky was driving a 2011 Honda erratically, crossing the double yellow lines. As with Cooke, she was charged with DWI as a first-time misdemeanor. Yassky also has two addresses, one in Springs, the other in Brooklyn. She, too, was released without having to post bail.