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Long IslandCrime

Franklin Square man charged with DWI is repeat offender, cops say

A Franklin Square man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor drunken driving in a March traffic stop was behind bars Friday after another drunken driving arrest.

Nassau police arrested Joseph Jacaruso, 51, on Thursday night after they said they saw the man’s 2000 Chevrolet Blazer weaving in traffic and almost colliding with other vehicles in Merrick.

Police said Jacaruso has three prior DWI convictions and one for driving while impaired by alcohol.

Jacaruso now faces a felony drunken driving charge, along with offenses including aggravated unlicensed driving and reckless driving.

Police said in court records that officers saw Jacaruso driving on Merrick Road and he nearly hit a police car and an overpass before they were able to get him to stop the Blazer at about 8 p.m.

When they did, his breath smelled strongly of alcohol, his speech was slurred and he “had urinated in his pants,” according to police.

Jacaruso, who was unsteady on his feet, refused a breath test, police said in court records.

At Jacaruso’s arraignment Friday, Hempstead District Court Judge William Hohauser set bail at $75,000 bond or $50,000 cash. Records show Jacaruso didn’t immediately post bail.

Jacaruso’s Legal Aid Society attorney couldn’t be immediately reached. The district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Queens attorney George Grasso, whose firm represents Jacaruso in the March case — which is scheduled for a September sentencing — said his client needs help, not punishment.

“The goal should be treatment and not punitive,” the Flushing lawyer said.

With Bridget Murphy

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