A Massapequa woman was charged early Saturday with driving drunk with her two young daughters in the vehicle, the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office said.
A deputy sheriff with the DWI enforcement team stopped Gina Chiarello, 46, around 12:43 a.m. after she failed to maintain her lane as she drove her gray 2003 Mercury Mountaineer west on State Road 27, at Exit 64N in Southampton Town, sheriff's officials said.
Chiarello's speech was slurred and her eyes were bloodshot, authorities said. She also was unsteady when she stepped out of the car, and her breath smelled of alcohol, the sheriff's office said.More coverageComplete coverage: Suspected DWI crashes, arrests on LI
Authorities said Chiarello's daughters, ages 6 and 8, were in the backseat, the 8-year-old sitting behind the driver.
Chiarello was arraigned Saturday in Southampton Town Justice Court on the charge of driving while intoxicated with a child 15 years old or younger, a violation of Leandra's Law.
She was released Saturday on $5,000 bail. She is due back in court Monday.
"I was tired from traveling a journey, and there is no proof that it was anything more than that," said Chiarello, who entered a not-guilty plea.
Chiarello told authorities she was visiting a friend in Montauk and had one to two glasses of wine when she got into an argument with the friend. She left, thinking she was OK to drive, she told authorities.
Chiarello's blood-alcohol level test results are pending. In New York the legal threshold for driving while intoxicated is .08 percent.
Chiarello's attorney, Colin Astarita of Southampton, said Saturday night that based on the paperwork and the roadside sobriety test, "we anticipate the results coming back below the legal limit."
"So we believe, it is our hope, that when the blood [test result] comes back, she will be below .08 and she will not be charged with the Leandra's Law DWI," Astarita said.