SAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police this week arrested a limousine driver accused of driving drunk on Long Island – with a family of five in the car.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the family was worried about their safety, and so were others who called police.READ MORE: Doctors Seeing More Neck, Back Pain Related To Working From Home
Michael Winn, 64, stood charged Wednesday with driving while intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest, and aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law, Suffolk County police said.
But prosecutors said Winn admitted to drinking before picking up a fare from John F. Kennedy International Airport to return them to their Sayville home.
Police allegedly spotted Winn driving his 2005 Lincoln limousine erratically near an unrelated crash site on Sunrise Highway at around 8:55 p.m. on Tuesday.
A motorist witnessed what looked like a limo drive from hell and called 911, police said. One witness even flagged down an officer, police said.
According to police, that officer approached Winn’s vehicle and asked him to pull over, but he sped away instead. He was pulled over a half a mile down after the passengers — a 22-month-old boy, his parents and grandparents — screamed for Winn to stop the vehicle.
At that point, Winn finally pulled over, police said.READ MORE: Harrison School District Taking Action To Bring All Students Back Into Classrooms Full Time In Coming Weeks
Prosecutors said Winn admitted to drinking, and they found two bottles of vodka in the front seat, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported. One of the bottles was empty, the other open, police said.
In court, Winn’s attorney said the arrests and the charges were out of character for the longtime owner of Crossroads Limo Service of East Islip.
“There are just unreliable observations that are the basis of the charges,” Anthony La Pinta, Winn’s attorney said. “So once we get the blood results back, we’ll have a better understanding of these charges and whether they’re warranted.”
Limo and taxi drivers undergo background checks. One driver said some would still fail a drug or alcohol test.
“It’s a privilege to drive, and people abuse it,” said taxi driver James Gibb.
The Sayville family was shaken up, and declined to comment. A judge suspended Winn’s driver’s license while blood alcohol tests are pending.MORE NEWS: Blackface Costume Controversy Hits N.J. Town Of Lakewood
Suffolk County police advised using a reputable company, and said passengers should ask for a driver’s full name and pay attention to their condition, and should not get in if they feel unsafe. If passengers are already en route and feel unsafe, they should call 911.