Actress Charged Again With Drunken Driving

A daytime incident in which a car struck the curb on Main Street in Sag Harbor on Monday resulted in the drug and alcohol arrest of Yancy Victoria Butler, an actress who has publicly struggled with addition. David E. Rattray

Yancy Victoria Butler, 46, an actress who lives in Winnetka, Calif., was arrested in Sag Harbor early Monday afternoon and charged with aggravated drunken driving and possession of drugs.

Responding to a report that a woman headed south on Main Street in a Subaru had hopped a curb before coming to a stop, Sag Harbor Village police found Ms. Butler slumped over the steering wheel, key in the ignition and engine running.

Police said there was a half-empty bottle of Smirnoff vodka sticking out of her purse, which was on the passenger seat next to her. An officer reached into the car and turned off the ignition. When Ms. Butler came to, police reported, she was "unable to make a complete sentence." A Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance crew initially cleared her of any medical issues, but when she stepped out of the car she could not stand without officers supporting her.

At police headquarters, her breath test reportedly produced a reading of .31, almost four times the .08 number that defines intoxication and well over the .18 level that triggers a raised charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated. She is being charged at the misdemeanor level.

The reading was so high that protocol required the police to take her to the hospital to be checked for possible blood-alcohol poisoning. The ambulance crew was called back, and an officer rode with her to Southampton Hospital.

Her condition was assessed, and doctors released her back to police custody. On her second trip with the arresting officer, headed again to Division Street headquarters, she allegedly began spitting in his face.

Back at headquarters, with no female officer on duty, a call was made to East Hampton Village police, who sent a policewoman to Sag Harbor to help process the arrest. When that officer searched Ms. Butler's purse, she found 14 pills in a container, which police suspect are Xanax. The pills were sent to a lab to be tested, and she was charged with possession of a controlled substance as a misdemeanor.

A little before midnight, almost 10 hours after her arrest, she began exhibiting symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, police said, and she was taken again to the hospital. She was eventually released from custody with an appearance ticket, and will be arraigned in Sag Harbor on Friday.

Ms. Butler, a prominent actress in film and television action and horror genres, has a history of alcohol-related brushes with the law. According to published reports, she was arrested in January 2003 after a dispute with her father at an uncle's Long Island home. She was arrested again later that year in Delray Beach, Fla., on a charge of disorderly intoxication; Florida police said they found her wandering in traffic.

In 2007, she was charged in Connecticut with driving under the influence after crashing a 2004 Saab into a guardrail in Sharon. The outcome of that case is unclear.