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News Release

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Media Relations

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over “RUOK?” is the Wrong Message this Holiday Season NA12279bb

Los Angeles:  As you celebrate the holiday season, be reminded that the LAPD, Sheriff, California Highway Patrol and the “Avoid the 100 DUI Taskforce”, will be working during the holiday season from December 16, 2011, to January 2, 2012, to arrest anyone caught driving drunk.  

In anticipation of the holiday season, the LAPD has planned the following sobriety checkpoints and driving-under-the-influence (DUI) patrols:

•Friday, December 16, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Roscoe Boulevard at Noble Avenue in Mission Area;
•Friday, December 16, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Florence Avenue and Broadway in Newton Area;
•Friday, December 16, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Sunset Boulevard and Spaulding Avenue in Hollywood Area;
•Saturday, December 17, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at La Brea Avenue and Rodeo Road in Southwest Area;
•Saturday, December 17, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 6 PM to 12 AM at Imperial Highway at Main Street in Southeast Area;
•Sunday, December 18, 2011 – DUI Saturation Patrol from 12 PM to 8 PM in Harbor Area;
•Thursday, December 22, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 7 PM to 1 AM at Imperial Highway at Main Street in Southeast Area;
•Thursday, December 22, 2011 – DUI Saturation Patrol from 5 PM to 1 AM in North Hollywood Area;
•Friday, December 23, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Ventura Boulevard at Big Oak Drive in North Hollywood Area;
•Friday, December 23, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Sunset Boulevard at Coronado Street in Northeast Area;
•Friday, December 23, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Santa Monica Boulevard at Bronson Avenue in Hollywood Area;
•Friday, December 23, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 7 PM to 1 AM at Western Avenue at Slauson Avenue in 77th Street Area;
•Thursday, December 29, 2011 – Saturation Patrol from 5 PM to 1 AM in Olympic Area;
•Friday, December 30, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Figueroa Street at 9th Street in Central Area;
•Friday, December 30, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Van Nuys Boulevard at Haddon Avenue in Foothill Area;
•Saturday, December 31, 2011 – Sobriety Checkpoint from 8 PM to 2 AM at Lincoln Boulevard at Maxella Avenue in Pacific Area; and,
•Sunday, January 1, 2012 – DUI Saturation Patrol from 2 PM to 10 PM in Mission Area.

“RUOK?” is the text message version of the often heard question, “Are you okay to drive?”  If you have to ask someone the question, you already know the answer.  You know they have had too much to drink or are showing signs of being “buzzed.”  You know they’re not okay to drive.  Asking the question doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility to call them a cab, take them home yourself or offer your couch.

Sobriety/Driver’s license checkpoints, multi-agency DUI task force deployments and roving DUI patrols are scheduled locally in partnership with law enforcement statewide and around the county during the Winter Holiday Anti-DUI Campaign.  Sobriety checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence.  Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment.  

Sobriety checkpoints along with regularly scheduled high-visibility DUI enforcement are proven strategies to remove impaired drivers from the road and heighten awareness in the community of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sobriety checkpoint programs can yield considerable cost savings: $6 for every $1 spent.  The LAPD has 132 sobriety checkpoints scheduled throughout the course of next year.

In December 2009, there were 753 people killed nationwide in crashes that involved drivers or motorcycle riders with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 blood alcohol content.  In California, 57 individuals died on the states streets and highways.

“There will be no spreading holiday cheer behind the bars of a jail cell,” Lieutenant Katona said.  “Don’t let your 2011 holiday season end in an arrest or worse, death.  Remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk.”

“The message is simple, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.  Drinking alcohol and driving do not mix.  If you plan to consume alcohol, you should also plan not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle or ride a motorcycle,” said Lieutenant Katona.

The Los Angeles Police Department recommends these simple tips for a safe holiday season:

•Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
•Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;
•If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
•If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement by calling 911; and,
•Remember, “RUOK?” is a ridiculous question.  If you think they’ve had too much, they probably have.  Help him or her make other arrangements to get home safely.

The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown is led by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and NHTSA, with the California Avoid DUI Task Force Campaign combining high-visibility enforcement and heightened public awareness through publicity.

For statewide and local Avoid DUI Task Force Campaign Enforcement Schedules for the county and Daily DUI Arrest/Fatal Stats for the county and region, visit www.californiaavoid.org.  The Program is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety who reminds everyone to please – Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1!

Media Notes: To schedule an interview with Lt. Ronald Katona, LAPD Emergency Operations Division, regarding Anti Drunk-Driving efforts, please contact Media Relations at 213-486-5910 or via email at pio@lapd.lacity.org.