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Wirta seeks license back after DWI

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And it begins with getting his license back.Wirta, 57, who is on probation for the October 2004 DWI conviction that includes a loss of driving privileges, testified last week at a hearing at the state Department of Motor Vehicles to do just that.In front of Queens Administrative Law Judge Robert Krengel, the Fresh Meadows repairman said he was neither swerving nor speeding the night of the accident, which left Vasean Alleyne, 11, dead and his best friend Angel Reyes, now 13, seriously injured.According to Wirta's attorney, Anthony Rattoballi, Wirta testified that on Oct. 22 he was traveling eastbound on 73rd Avenue at 30 miles an hour on his way home from a nearby bar where he had approximately four beers.About 40 feet after driving through a green light at the 150th Street intersection he "heard a thump," Rattoballi said. "He stopped the vehicle and determined he had struck these two boys. He then called 911 and gave the operator his location and cell phone number."He pointed out that the location was a "very dark area" and that Vasean and Angel had stepped into the street from a curb hidden by a line of parked cars.The accident spurred state legislators to pass a new law in June that puts any DWI accident that causes a death or serious injury in the felony category. Vasean's Law did not apply to Wirta's case, however, and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor June 23 and served 38 days of a 60-day jail sentence. He has also completed 15 days' community service and an alcohol treatment program, paid a $1,000 fine and is currently serving three years' probation.Rattoballi also criticized his client's probation requirements. He sees the twice-a-week appointments Wirta has with his officer as excessive for a DWI offense, which he said typically demand one meeting a month."Probation didn't like the sentence so they're imposing their own," he said.The Jan. 25 proceeding at the DMV fulfilled a requirement for anyone involved in a fatality case whose license was forfeited.Rattoballi expects his client to get his license back Feb. 3 when the court-ordered six-month suspension expires.But Monique Dixon, mother of Vasean, hopes that never happens."He testified that he had his wits about him that night. But he was almost twice over the legal limit," she said, referring to his blood-alcohol level. "How much does this man need to drink before he thinks he's too drunk to drive?"Reach reporter Zach Patberg at news@timesledger.com or at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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