City Begins Annual Don't Drink and Drive Campaign

West Hollywood officials, public safety personnel and local businesses encourage designated drivers, cab rides and a free New Year's shuttle service.

West Hollywood City Council members, police and firefighters joined with local business people Monday to announce the start of the annual Don't Drink and Drive campaign.

Officials held a press conference at the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards outside the county Sheriff's West Hollywood Station, where a wrecked vehicle will be on display as a reminder of the dangers of mixing alcohol with driving.

This year the campaign features thousands of cocktail napkins that will be distributed to the city's bars and restaurants. The napkins contain a printed message that reminds patrons not to drink and drive.

In addition to promoting the use of designated drivers, the napkins will include phone numbers for West Hollywood taxi service.

A free holiday shuttle will run along Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard Dec. 29-31 from 8 p.m.-3 a.m.

"All we're saying is while you're out having a good time, think ahead, plan, and if your plans go awry make sure you come up with some other alternatives," Mayor Jeffrey Prang said. "We want the bars looking out for you, we want friends and family looking out for one another and the city's looking out for you too."

Mayor Pro Tempore Abbe Land added "there are many ways that you can get yourself home that's safe. It's really important that you think about that because you might be impacted, but there are so many other innocent people that can be impacted by a decision that you make."

West Hollywood Sheriff's deputies made 257 drunk driving arrests in 2011, and there were 97 auto collisions that involved alcohol, Capt. Kelley Fraser said. So far this year, there have been 203 DUI arrests and 78 alcohol-related collisions.

"We're asking the public to take responsibility, have a plan in place, have designated drivers, know what resources are available as far as taxis and shuttles and bus line services," Fraser said. "Have a plan and enjoy the holidays, move into 2013 safely."

State public safety grant funds enable the Sherriff's Department to conduct increased patrols and DUI check points throughout the holiday season, Fraser said.

For more information contact the West Hollywood Public Safety Division, 323-848-6414.

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