For Cinco De Drinko, LAPD Wants You to Stay Out of the Clink-o
If these are your friends, make sure neither of them are driving (Photo by k4dordy via Flickr)
The LAPD will be conducting 4 Sobriety Checkpoints from tomorrow night and through the weekend in order to remove possible drunk drivers from the streets who have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo, an occasion often marked with drinking. One checkpoint is scheduled for tomorrow night, from 6 p.m. to Midnight in the Northeast Area. Two checkpoints will be set up on Friday night: Newton Area (7p-12:30a) and North Hollywood Area (9p-3a). And a fourth checkpoint will be run on Saturday night in Hollywood (8 p.m. to 2 a.m.).
The LAPD explains their checkpoint philosophy in relation to the upcoming days:
Cinco de Mayo has become a traditional time for many to celebrate California’s rich cultural history. But it is also a night out with expected dangers when someone chooses to drink and drive. Party hosts, bars and restaurants this year must be sure to plan and promote designating sober drivers in advance - before the ‘Fiesta’ begins.
Sharing information ahead of time about checkpoint locations is a practice of the LAPD endorsed by Chief Charlie Beck, who told LAist in January: "People having foresight aren't the ones who are committing this crime. People who are thinking ahead aren't the ones that this checkpoint is likely to catch. I think that the publicity surrounding these things is so important that if you give a couple of locations, that's fine." Education and change in behavior is the focus of the checkpoint program, and it is less about instructing intoxicated drivers about what streets to avoid, but rather instructing all Angelenos how to avoid driving drunk in the first place. To that end, the LAPD has several tips for enjoying "a safe and festive Cinco de Mayo."
-Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin; -Designate a sober driver; -Leave your car keys at home; -Call a taxi, call a friend or family member, or use public transportation to ensure you get home safely; -Call 911 if you see a possible drunk driver on the road; and, -Take the car keys away from someone who is about to drive impaired and assist them in getting home safely.