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City Says Loud-and-Clear: ‘Don’t Drink (or Use) and Drive’

Post Date:November 26, 2019 1:56 PM

Don't drink and driveThe City of West Hollywood, its City Council, and its Public Safety Commission will join the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, local Fire Stations 7 and 8, and Block by Block Security Ambassadors in reminding community members about an important message of safety during the holidays: do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of cannabis carries the same DUI designation as alcohol.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station will host a brief community event in front of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, located at 780 N. San Vicente Boulevard on Monday, December 9, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

Immediately following the event, community members will be welcomed to join City of West Hollywood Officials and Sheriff's deputies to walk to nearby restaurants and bars to begin the distribution of 100,000 drink coasters with printed messages, which will remind patrons not to drink and drive and to instead choose a designated driver, a ride share service, or a local taxi company. The coasters will also feature telephone numbers for taxicab companies that serve West Hollywood.

The coasters also feature a transit link to information about the City of West Hollywood’s free weekend trolley services which include the The PickUp, the Sunset Trip, and newly expanded Saturday evening service on the Cityline shuttle, which connects to the Metro Red Line at Hollywood and Highland. These three alternatives are free and help to not only curb alcohol or cannabis impaired driving, but they also ease parking, and reduce traffic congestion. Visit www.weho.org/transit for additional information about these services.

The City of West Hollywood has also produced two Public Service Announcements (PSA) to encourage holiday revelers to utilize alternative forms of transportation if they partake in alcohol or adult-use cannabis consumption. The first is Grinch-themed Don’t Drive Impaired WeHoTV NewsByte. The second is the City and County Communications and Marketing Association national award of excellence-winning PSA Recreational Reefer Madness about the rules of cannabis consumption in West Hollywood based on the 1936 cult-classic of comically bad cinema, Reefer Madness.

While these PSAs are a comedic take on driving under the influence, there are sobering statistics available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the dangers of DUI: every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver; more than one-million drivers are arrested yearly for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics; and, marijuana users were approximately 25 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use. 

The West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has issued the following 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 or using marijuana, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins – a designated driver is someone who hasn’t had any alcohol or marijuana, not just the person who drank or smoked the least.
  • If you have been drinking or using marijuana, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use a ride share service or public transportation, or call one of your local sober ride home programs.
  • Be responsible. If someone you know is impaired, do not let that person get behind the wheel, and do not accept a ride with an impaired person.
  • 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.

The City of West Hollywood has many bars, restaurants, lounges, nightclubs, and venues that serve alcohol. The City is dedicated to encouraging social responsibility and maintaining safe establishments that are free from overconsumption of alcohol. 

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station’s Community Impact Team (CIT) actively patrols bars, nightclubs, and hotels. Deputies are proactive in addressing impacts from entertainment establishments and special events. The Sheriff’s Station’s Entertainment Policing Team (EPT) focuses on “entertainment” and “alcohol” related law enforcement issues in the City in order to prevent alcohol-related incidents. Together, the Sheriff’s Station and the City’s Code Compliance Division work with the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to educate businesses and work collaboratively on alcohol-related issues.

Everyone in West Hollywood can take part in working together to ensure that alcohol consumption is safe in our city. The City of West Hollywood works to raise awareness about social responsibility and alcohol with an effort called Imbibe Intelligently, which promotes safety tips and messages regarding alcohol consumption within the community and for visitors enjoying establishments in the City of West Hollywood.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s annual Don’t Drink and Drive campaign, please call the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Department at (323) 848-6492. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.
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