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First Report On Memorial Day DWI Crackdown Released By Dutchess Sheriff

Law enforcement agencies in Dutchess County cracked down on impaired drivers over the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.
Law enforcement agencies in Dutchess County cracked down on impaired drivers over the Memorial Day Weekend holiday. Photo Credit: File

A Memorial Day crackdown on impaired drivers in Dutchess County has led to the arrests of nearly a dozen local residents.

In total, nine arrests have been announced, though not all agencies have reported their arrests following the busy holiday.

As part of the statewide STOP-DWI crackdown, local and area law enforcement busted several motorists for driving while intoxicated as they attempt to stop motorists from drinking and driving in the area with “saturated patrols.”

Among the municipalities that participated in the Memorial Day crackdown from May 25 through May 29, includes the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department, Town of Hyde Park Police Department and Village of Millerton Police Department.

The details were funded by the Governors Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation, which for the fourth year in a row was awarded the Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program in the form of a “Crackdown Enforcement Grant” for the 2017-2018 Crackdown periods.

Officials said the “objective of this continued enforcement grant is to revitalize and enhance the visibility of the STOP-DWI Program through coordinated multi-agency impaired driving enforcement details targeting identified statewide crackdown periods. They also include the assignment of certified Drug Recognition Experts to aid in the identification and apprehension of drivers impaired by drugs other than alcohol.”

Among the local residents charged include:

  • Vicente Agustin-Perez, 46, of Millerton was charged with DWI and driving with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent or more, both misdemeanors in the Village of Millerton;
  • Michael Finkle, 51, of Millerton was charged with DWI, a misdemeanor and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation in the Village of Millerton.
  • Richard Sheldon, 36, of Stanfordville was charged with DWI and blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent or more both misdemeanors and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana a violation in the Village of Millerton.
  • Jessica Tomah, 36, of Stanfordville was charged with DWI and Aggravated DWI - blood alcohol content greater than .18 percent both misdemeanors in the Village of Millerton.
  • Barbara Atkins, 56, of Poughkeepsie was charged with DWAI Drugs and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3 rd both misdemeanors in the City of Poughkeepsie.
  • Deanna Perillo, 26, of Pleasant Valley was charged with DWI and driving with a blood alcohol content .08 percent or more both misdemeanors in the Town of LaGrange.
  • Cameron Hardy, 58, of Millbrook was charged with DWI a misdemeanor after being involved in a personal injury auto crash in the Town of Red Hook.
  • Lee Clapper, 55, of Millerton was charged with DWI a misdemeanor after being involved in a property damage auto crash in the Town of Amenia.

Each of the motorists was arrested at the scene and charged with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated. Each has since been released to a sober third-party and are due back in court later this year to answer the charges.

“Memorial Day represents the unofficial start of the summer and the kickoff of prom and graduation seasons,” Dutchess County STOP-DWI coordinator William Johnson said. “The arrests affected throughout the Memorial Day Crackdown are another reminder as to the consequences of driving while impaired.

“Each of these arrests were 100 percent preventable. If you’re going to celebrate with friends and family throughout the Prom, Graduation, and summer seasons, simply have a plan for a sober drive home. The risks have never been worth the consequences. We respect and acknowledge the efforts of all of our law enforcement partners to ensure identify and apprehend those who choose to drive impaired.”

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