Two drivers were arrested for driving under the influence at a West Hollywood DUI checkpoint on Friday, February 4, 2022. The checkpoint was held at Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station reports that 1,179 vehicles were contacted. One driver was cited for operating a vehicle unlicensed or with a suspended/revoked license, and two other drivers were cited for having an open container of marijuana in the vehicle.
The West Hollywood DUI Checkpoint location was chosen based on a history of DUI crashes and arrests. The primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring drivers from driving impaired.
The sobriety checkpoint is publicized in advance to increase awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and to encourage sober designated drivers. The Sheriff’s Station works with the City’s Code Compliance Division and the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to educate businesses and work collaboratively on alcohol-related issues. The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station has a Community Impact Team (CIT) that actively patrols bars, nightclubs, and hotels. Deputies are proactive in addressing impacts from entertainment establishments and special events. Their Entertainment Policing Team (EPT) focuses on entertainment- and alcohol-related law enforcement issues in the City in order to prevent alcohol-related incidents.
During the LASD DUI Checkpoint, deputies will look for signs that drivers are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
The West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has 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, 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.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also reminds the public that impaired driving is not just from alcohol. Some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving. Always follow directions for use and read warning labels about driving or ”operating heavy machinery,” which includes driving a car. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.
If you plan on drinking or taking medications that may impact your ability to drive safely, plan on staying at home.
Drivers charged with a first-time DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
One transportation alternative for people enjoying the multitude of entertainment venues in West Hollywood is The PickUp, which is a cool, convenient, and free alternative to driving. For details, please visit www.wehopickup.com. In addition, Cityline operates free Saturday evening service to and from Hollywood and Highland where riders can connect with the Metro Red Line. For details, please visit www.weho.org/cityline.