The City of West Hollywood, its City Council, and its Public Safety Commission join with the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Stations 7 and 8 of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and West Hollywood Block by Block Security Ambassadors to remind community members about an important message of safety during the holidays: don’t drink (or use) and drive.
There are sobering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the dangers of driving under the influence (DUI). Each 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 are approximately 25 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use.
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. Driving under the influence is never okay and driving under the influence of cannabis carries the same DUI designation as alcohol.
The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station’s Entertainment Policing Team (EPT) is a team of Sheriff’s Deputies who are primarily focused on entertainment- and alcohol-related law enforcement issues in the City. On a nightly basis, the EPT actively patrols approximately 60 bars, nightclubs, and hotels, and liaises with management of nightlife establishments to build and maintain cooperative working relationships and to stay informed and address concerns. 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.
The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station 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.
Everyone in West Hollywood can take part in working together to ensure safety. 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.
Imbibe Intelligently tips are:
- Measure it: Set a limit and keep count of your drinks.
- Control it: Just like fitness, make a goal to be responsible.
- Eat it: A full stomach slows the alcohol down.
- Hydrate it: Alcohol dehydrates, quench your thirst with water.
- Pace it: Cultivate those cocktails by sipping, not gulping.
- Pause it: Take a breath and enjoy the moment.
- Switch it: For every drink, order a glass of H20.
- Reduce it: Opt for lower-alcohol alternatives.
- Table it: Avoid salty snacks that make you thirsty.
- Ride it: Set a designated driver or grab a ride share.
- Leave it: Valuables are valuable, keep them at home.
- Friend it: Buddy-up and look out for one another.
- Protect it: Always practice safe sex.
Imbibe Intelligently information and graphics can be viewed at www.weho.org/socialresponsibility. The City’s Drive Mindfully campaign also includes messages that encourage drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to look out for one another; information is available at www.weho.org/drivemindfully.
One transportation alternative for people enjoying 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 evening service on Fridays and Saturdays until 8 p.m. to and from Hollywood and Highland where riders can connect with the Metro Red Line. For details, please visit www.weho.org/cityline.