LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Beware if you're planning to partake in some alcohol during New Year's weekend.
The Los Angeles Police Department will be out in force searching for impaired drivers.
According to the LAPD, 10,497 motorists died in DUI-related crashes in the United States in 2016, with 1,059 of those in California. In Los Angeles, officers arrested 10,587 people in the same year on suspicion of driving under the influence, and 2,541 DUI-related collisions caused 1,120 serious injuries and 21 fatalities.
This weekend, LAPD will be saturating the streets conducting DUI patrols and checkpoints.
The agency will conduct a DUI checkpoint at 7 p.m. Saturday at Victory Boulevard and Bellaire Avenue, and at 8 p.m. at Ventura Boulevard and Columbus Avenue. On Sunday, saturation patrols will start at noon in the Southwest Area and at 5 p.m. in the Van Nuys area.
``This holiday season, drivers will notice increased enforcement watching closely for anyone who is driving impaired,'' said officer Don Inman with traffic coordination section. ``It is vital that we keep our roads and our travelers safe, not just at the holidays, but every day. With extra travelers on the roads and people celebrating, we will likely see an uptick in impaired driving. The LAPD will be arresting anyone caught driving impaired.''
Anyone arrested for driving impaired could face jail time, a suspension of driver's license, legal and financial penalties, increased car insurance premiums, court costs, car towing expenses and more. If there is a collision that injures or kills someone, the consequences increase substantially, police said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department and Metropolitan Transportation Authority will also join forces with LAPD to spread the word to drive safely during the New Year's weekend, and to remind motorists that ``buzzed driving is drunk driving.''
The LAPD is also supporting new efforts to educate drivers that ``DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze.'' Motorists who take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, could be impaired enough to be arrested for DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI conviction.
``Two simple words can keep your holiday festivities safe: `plan ahead,''' said OTS director Rhonda Craft. ``Before you head out to any celebration, plan how you are getting home safely. If you are drinking, that means knowing what sober driver or service will be using.''
Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or ``DDVIP,'' free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver.
Metro will be offering free rides on its buses and trains beginning at 9 p.m. New Year's Eve and continuing until 2 a.m. Monday.
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