EAST MEADOW - A Deer Park man was charged under Leandra’s Law for allegedly driving high while his girlfriend and 5-year-old daughter were in the car.
Police say they stopped James Calabrese, 38, at around 4 a.m. Monday on Hempstead Turnpike near Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. Prosecutors say Calabrese was swerving in and out of a lane, prompting another driver to flag down a police officer in an effort to get him off the road.
Once Calabrese was pulled over, prosecutors say the officer asked him where he was going. He allegedly said he was heading from Queens to Deer Park. The officer then pointed out that he was driving in the wrong direction.
Prosecutors say the officer called in a drug recognition expert, known as a DRE, after observing Calabrese’s slurred speech and droopy eyelids. Calabrese then allegedly admitted he had taken Suboxone, a drug meant to wean people off an opiate addiction.
DRE officers are called to the scene so their expert testimony can be heard in court, according to Marge Lee, of DEDICATEDD.
Calabrese has at least two prior DWI convictions and was supposed to have an interlock system installed in his car.
Calabrese is free after posting $15,000 bond. His license was temporarily suspended.