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Long IslandSuffolk

DA wants jail for broker in DWI case

The Suffolk district attorney's office is calling for a jail sentence Tuesday for a Hamptons real estate broker who has pleaded guilty to driving drunk while on probation in a previous DWI case.

Charlotte DePersia, 58, of East Hampton, a broker with The Corcoran Group, was arrested the night of Nov. 27 after her eastbound SUV hit a westbound car on Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. The car was carrying two couples. Both women, one 16 weeks pregnant, were injured.

DePersia is to be sentenced Tuesday in Riverhead. She is on a leave of absence from her job and in an inpatient alcohol treatment program,said her lawyer, Tad Scharfenberg of Bohemia.

DePersia is on probation for a 2009 conviction for driving while intoxicated. Her record also includes a 2003 driving while ability impaired infraction, a lesser charge than DWI.

"The time has come when she should be spending some time in jail," said District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Matthew Gluck, 36, of East Quogue and Manhattan, was driving the car DePersia hit. His wife, Lindsay Soyka, had a broken nose and eye socket fractures. His passenger and family friend, Karyn Scholack, 34, of West New York, N.J., had broken ribs, and painshe endured for the rest of her pregnancy.

DePersia pleaded guilty to felony DWI, vehicular assault, crossing the median and driving with an open container, charges that carry a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

David Bookstaver, spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, said Supreme Court Judge William Condon has made no promises to DePersia or her lawyer that she could be spared from jail.

"The judge might -- emphasis on might -- be inclined if all the probation and treatment reports are satisfactory," Bookstaver said. But, Bookstaver added, "This defendant has a probation violation case pending [because of the November arrest], which may in itself result in jail time."

Scharfenberg said his client is remorseful. "At the end of the day, we want people to get the treatment they need," he said.

But the victims and Mothers Against Drunk Driving started a letter-writing campaign calling for a jail sentence.

"She needs a real deterrent," Scholack said.

The judge needs to see this as the violent crime it is," said Mary Scala, victim advocate for MADD.

Suffolk DWI statistics

Though driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases have dropped some in the past few years, about one-third of all fatalities are alcohol-related.

Total DWI arrests, including East End towns and villages:

2007: 5,689

2008: 5,535

2009: 5,035

Fatalities attributed to DWI:

2008: 54 of 174, 31.03 percent

2009: 47 of 149, 31.54 percent

Source: Stop DWI program of Suffolk County

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