If no one drove drunk in East Hampton, would cops have nothing to do? Of course not, but with the recent spate of wrong-way driving and DWI cases on Long Island, Springs videographer Frank Vespe felt compelled to explore the idea with a humorous, yet sobering, message that aims to get people to think twice before getting behind the wheel when they've been drinking.
So he wrote up a script for a public service announcement. It portrays a cop parked on the side of the road eating doughnuts, modeling his handcuffs as earrings and doing impersonations of Robert De Niro in “Taxi Driver” and Al Pacino in “Scarface.”
“Say hello to my little friend,” says the cop, armed with a radar gun.
It ends with the message: “Keep a cop bored. Stay at home all night. It could be the best night of your life.”
Vespe ran the idea about using a real officer in the video by Town Police Chief Ed Ecker, who ran it by Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson. The duo, Vespe was told, could not stop laughing, and he was given the OK to work with Officer Matt Rodriguez.
Vespe spent a day filming with Rodriguez.
The voiceover was done by WKJY radio DJ Steve Harper.
Vespe said he was surprised the town police signed on, and even more surprised when Mothers Against Drunk Driving showed interest in using the video for a campaign, and still more surprised when local media outlets began reaching out to him.
The video was posted Tuesday on YouTube and has gotten nearly 600 views as of about 2:15 p.m. Thursday.
"I had no idea so many people would watch this,” Vespe said. “I just thought if I can do something, somehow, I should. The response has been touching.”