By City News Service
Since Dec. 13, law enforcement officers in 100 Los Angeles County jurisdictions have made 1,520 drunken or drugged driving arrests as of Christmas Day, up from 1,425 during the same time period last year.
The anti-DUI effort, involving checkpoints and directed patrols, runs through New Year's Day. A blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent is considered too drunk to drive.
According to some estimates, a first-time drunken driving conviction, can cost up to $10,000, including bail, fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs. In some cases, vehicles can be towed and impounded for up to 30 days, though rules vary from one jurisdiction to another.
A state appeals court recently ruled that Los Angeles police officers, under Chief Charlie Beck's executive order No. 7, can let a responsible party drive a vehicle away from a drunken driving arrest rather than impound the car, which can drive up DUI costs significantly.
The idea behind the LAPD policy was to ease the financial burden on people's livelihood depends on their transportation.