“Is this the right place?”
She was holding a small piece of paper in her hand. On it was written a time, 9:30, and the address of the building behind her, the East Hampton Town Justice Court.
It was 7:30 on Sunday morning.
Seven hours earlier, her husband had been arrested, charged with driving while intoxicated.
The couple are here from Brazil on a one-month vacation, staying in a corporate apartment on West 51st Street in Manhattan.
They rented a car and drove out to Montauk on a whim, spending the day at the beach and having dinner at the Surf Lodge. There were no rooms available there so they decided to head west, looking for a motel. They got a quarter-mile or so down Industrial Road, to the bend where it turns into Second House Road, when they were pulled over by an East Hampton Village police officer, stationed in Montauk on Saturday night as part of a task force targeting drunken drivers.
“He had a beer,” Marcella Drumond said.
Her husband, Jose Drumond, was asked to step out of the car, she said. She sat in the dark, watching him perform roadside sobriety tests, walking seven steps, heel touching toe, hands at the sides.
Suddenly, she said, he was gone.
The officer handed her the piece of paper.
She had nowhere to go and no one to speak to. Portuguese is not a language frequently heard on the East End, and her English is minimal. She sat in their car all night, waiting for the morning.
Told she was in the right place, she repeated, “He had a beer. And they arrested him. I hate this place. I want to go back to Brazil.”
She pulled the car into a shadow cast by the building, an early morning respite from the rising summer sun.
Melissa Aguanno, an assistant district attorney who is putting in her final two weeks at the D.A.’s office before making the plunge into private practice, was the first official to arrive. She was followed by two East Hampton police officers, one from the town, the other from the village, both carrying paperwork from the night’s arrests. Ms. Aguanno thumbed through the reports, making small talk with the officers before going inside.
There had been 11 arrests during the night. There was a lot of paperwork.
The sun was higher in the sky, the shadow cast by the still-locked courthouse gone, so Ms. Drumond got out of the car and walked to a picnic table shaded by a large oak tree.
Tania Valverde, a translator, arrived. Ms. Valverde speaks five languages fluently, including Portuguese, having lived in Brazil for nine years. Ms. Drumond was pointed out to her. She went over and began talking.
Hearing her native tongue, Ms. Drumond’s emotional dam burst, and she started to cry. The two women spoke for several minutes under the shady tree.
Justice Catherine Cahill arrived. There were now several other people standing around the parking lot, friends and relatives of those arrested.
An East Hampton Town police van pulled up. The first six arrestees stepped out, hands shackled behind their backs, and walked single-file into the building.
“Where is he? He’s not there,” said Ms. Drumond.
She was told he would be in the second group. She went into the courthouse and sat down as the first defendants were arraigned.
Then they brought Mr. Drumond in, seating him at the end of the bench, closest to the onlookers. The couple were able to exchange a few words.
Trevor M. Darrell, an attorney who was representing another defendant, acted as Mr. Drumond’s counsel for the arraignment. Mr. Drumond, he told the court, is an attorney in Brazil.
Ms. Aguanno initially requested that bail be set at $800, a figure that made sense to Justice Cahill, until Mr. Darrell explained that his only resource for bail would be Ms. Drumond’s debit card, which had a $500 limit.
The justice agreed to bail of $500 and set a return date to finish the arraignment for July 25 at 1 p.m., noting that the paperwork was incomplete but that Mr. Drumond had refused to take a breath test. An officer led him away.
Ms. Drumond was given directions to a cash machine and to village police headquarters, where her husband was being held. Cash in hand, she went to the station. Detective Sgt. Bryan Eldridge greeted her, counted out the bills she handed him, and promised to bring her husband out in a couple of minutes.
While she waited, she was told that in New York State, refusal to take a breath test leads to an automatic license suspension and immediate arrest.
“In Brazil,” she said, “the breath test is not required, so nobody ever takes it.”
The arrest report that was released on Monday does not say just what happened during Mr. Drumond’s arrest, so it was unclear as of yesterday whether his declining to take a breath test was what led to his being charged.
After a short time the detective brought him out to where his wife waited, wished him luck, and went back to his office. Alone in the lobby, the Drumonds sat on a bench, embraced, and quietly cried.
On Wednesday, the district attorney’s office agreed to lower the charge against Mr. Drumond to driving under the influence, a violation, in return for 40 hours of community service, which Mr. Drumond will complete over the next week.