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Riverhead School District guidance director pleads guilty to DWAI

The director of Riverhead School District’s guidance department, who was arrested in 2015 on a misdemeanor aggravated driving while intoxicated charge, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday.

Charles Gassar of Baiting Hollow pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired in Riverhead Town Justice Court. He paid a $400 fine and $260 surcharge.

On July 25, 2015, Mr. Gassar was pulled over by police shortly before 7 p.m. after he was observed failing to stay in his lane on Edgar Avenue in Aquebogue, according to court records.

A blood test taken revealed Mr. Gassar’s blood-alcohol content was .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit, according to court records.

Mr. Gassar, who has headed the district’s guidance department since the fall of 2008, had no prior DWIs, court records indicate. Under state law, any DWI arrest with a BAC over .18 percent is considered aggravated DWI.

Mr. Gassar came to Riverhead School District from the Rockville Centre district, where he was an assistant principal and had seven years experience in guidance.

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File photo: Charles Gassar speaks at a Riverhead school board meeting in 2012. (Credit: Paul Squire)