Numerous 911 calls just after midnight of Friday alerted police to a wrong-way driver on Sunrise Highway near East Quogue, leading to a drunken driving arrest.
According to the New York State police, Lianne Alcon, 34, of Riverhead, drove at least two exits going west in the eastbound side of Sunrise Highway before they managed to pull her over at about 12:30 a.m.
Riverside troopers said her blood alcohol level was .15, nearly twice the legal limit. She was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor.
Nicholas B. Hemby, a Water Mill resident and a volunteer in the Bridgehampton Fire Department, was one of those who dialled 911 after Alcon nearly struck his car.
Hemby said as he was heading east, westbound drivers across the median flashed their lights to alert eastbound drivers.
"I thought maybe there was a cop up ahead so I slowed down," Hemby said.
As he reached the East Quogue exit, he said he saw a car heading right at him.
Hemby — who said this is the second time that a wrong-way driver has come at him in that area over the past few years — immediately swerved onto the shoulder, avoiding a head-on collision.
"It was a little freaky to see lights coming right at me," he said. The previous incident where he avoided such a head-on collison was three years ago in broad daylight, he said.
State troops and Southampton Town police have had several runs ins with wrong way drivers over the past year.
On New Year's Eve, James Riley, 60 of East Hampton died after he drove the wrong way on Sunrise Highway, crashing into car, carrying a family of three. Riley's toxicology reports showed he had been drinking.
On January 2, a Hampton Bays wrong-way driver caused two collisions on Montauk Highway.
In May, State police charged a Hampton Bays with DWI after they spotted him driving the wrong way on Country Route 39 in Southampton near North Road.
In January 2011, a Hampton Bays man was charged with DWI after an off-duty officer spotted him driving westbound in the eastbound lane of Sunrise Highway just east of exit 65.
In June 2011, a Hampton Bays man was charged with aggravated DWI and DWI after he drove the wrong way on Montauk Highway West in Hampton Bays.
In December 2011, A 30-year-old Riverside man was charged with DWI in connection to a head-on crash near Canoe Place Inn.
- Drivers Recall Near-Miss With Wrong-Way Driver