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Local businessman pleads guilty to felony DWI, gets probation

Jesse Bobby Goodale III

A Riverhead businessman who was arrested in October 2014 on felony drunk driving charges after crashing his vehicle in the Riverhead High School parking lot with his child as a passenger, pleaded guilty last month, according to Suffolk County court documents. 

Jesse “Bobby” Goodale III, a former owner of Riverhead Building Supply, was sentenced to one year probation by Judge Stephen Braslow on Dec. 14, 2015. On Tuesday, his attorney appeared  in Riverhead Town Justice Court, where the matter was dismissed in lieu of the county proceedings.

Police records show Mr. Goodale, 69, of Flanders was involved in an accident in the high school parking lot about 10:17 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2014. A 14-year-old child — who was not identified by police, but whom Mr. Goodale told the News-Review was his child — was in the car at the time of the crash, court papers state.

Mr. Goodale said at the time that he had bumped into the bumper of the car in front of him while at the school, adding that there was no major damage to either vehicle. No one was injured.

Mr. Goodale was accused of having a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit at the time of the crash, according to town court documents. He registered a .24 blood alcohol content after taking a breath test, and also had “glassy, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on [his] feet,” the documents state.

In a telephone interview following his 2014 arraignment, Mr. Goodale told the News-Review that he had been drinking that morning after getting “bad news” and said he would accept the consequences of his “mistake.” He said he had no prior DWI arrests.

“It was my mistake, there was no question it was my mistake,” he had said. “I’m very upset … but it was clearly my fault to allow this to happen.”

He pleaded guilty Dec. 14, 2015 to one felony county of Driving While Intoxicated Leandra’s Law and one misdemeanor DWI count, court records show.

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