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Freeport woman drove drunk, crashed with her kids in car, say cops

Tawanda D. Roberts, 44, of Freeport was arrested

Tawanda D. Roberts, 44, of Freeport was arrested for driving while intoxicated following a head-on collision with another car in Roosevelt while she was driving with her two sons, Nassau County police said.

A 44-year-old Freeport woman has been released on felony driving while intoxicated charges after she was involved in a head-on collision Friday afternoon in Roosevelt with her two children in the car.

At Tawanda D. Roberts' arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead on Saturday, Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Herman asked that her bail be set at $75,000 and that her license be suspended.

Judge Scott Fairgrieve agreed to the suspension, but he denied the bail request and gave Roberts a conditional release pending her next court appearance, scheduled for Jan. 30.

Roberts' attorney, Timothy Aldridge of Levittown, told the court that Roberts is an emergency room technician at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola who has owned a home in Freeport for 10 years. He said there was "no evidence at all" that she had been intoxicated.

Aldridge said an "accident" occurred while Roberts "was out and about with the kids running errands -- getting haircuts, shopping. . . . She swerved to avoid something in the road."

"She had no problem driving at all running her various errands" earlier, Aldridge said. He said that what happened later was "unfortunate."

Herman said, "It was a clear day, and she was driving on the wrong side of the road." She said the other driver suffered multiple fractures. Police found Roberts to be "unsteady on her feet. . . . The officers could smell the odor of alcohol," she said.

Roberts' brother and nephew were in court, but the defendant and her family declined through Aldridge to speak to reporters.

Nassau County police said Roberts was driving south on Babylon Turnpike in a 2004 Acura about 4:15 p.m. when she crossed into the northbound lane and collided with a 2006 Honda driven by a 21-year-old woman who was not identified.

Roberts was arrested at a hospital after being treated for minor injuries.

Her two boys, ages 9 and 12, were not injured and were released to a family member.

Roberts was charged with two counts each of second-degree reckless endangerment, aggravated driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and reckless driving, police said. She was charged under Leandra's Law, accused of driving drunk with a passenger age 15 or younger, police said.

The law was passed in 2009 after Leandra Rosado, 11, was killed in a DWI accident in Manhattan.

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