Independent Staff Report
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city, along with the West Hollywood Station, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Sunset Strip Business Association, Block by Block security ambassadors and local licensed taxi companies, launched this year’s holiday season with its annual “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign at a Monday news conference.
The news conference took place in front of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. There, City Councilman John Heilman joined members of the city’s Public Safety Commission, officers from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, and Block by Block security ambassadors to address a small crowd about the dangers of drinking and driving.
On display was a late-model BMW that had been totally destroyed in a crash involving an intoxicated driver –—a reminder of the consequences of drinking and then getting behind the wheel.
This year, the Don’t Drink and Drive campaign will consist of more than 200,000 drink napkins with printed messages that will be distributed to many local restaurants and bars in West Hollywood. The messages will remind patrons not to drink and drive and to instead choose a designated driver or a local taxicab company. The napkins will also feature telephone numbers for West Hollywood taxi companies.
Concurrent with the campaign, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Services Detail conducted a driving under the influence checkpoint Friday night at the intersection of Robertson and Santa Monica boulevards.
The holiday season is a particularly deadly time of the year on the roads because of an increase in the number of drunk drivers, a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said. A major component of the checkpoint is to increase awareness on the dangers of impaired driving and to encourage sober designated drivers.
The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station has issued the following holiday safety tips:
• Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk — or worse, the risk of having a crash while driving.
• If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
• If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or call one of your local sober ride home programs.
• Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life and inaction could cost a life.
One transportation alternative for people enjoying nightlife in West Hollywood is the PickUp, which runs on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. The PickUp is free and travels along Santa Monica Boulevard in a four-mile loop with 10 stops in each direction between Robertson Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.
On New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, the city will offer a free shuttle along Santa Monica Boulevard from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The service will follow the same route as the weekend PickUp line, between Robertson Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.
Information: (323) 848-6414.