New Year's Eve revelers are being warned not to drink and drive or they could end up ringing in 2013 in a jail cell.
Southland police officers plan on conducting sobriety checkpoints Monday night and even going undercover at bars to prevent impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel, said Capt. Jeffrey Bert of Los Angeles Police Department Valley Traffic Division.
Speaking at a press conference outside the Metro Ride Line Station in North Hollywood, Bert said a first-time DUI offense can run up a $14,000 bill in fines, impound fees and attorney fees. A DUI collision that results in injuries or a death carries stiffer penalties and jail time.
L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was also on hand, saying that party-goers have several options for getting home safe, including calling a cab, taking advantage of free Metro subway and bus rides as well as a complimentary Tipsy Tow service.
Flanked by men in uniform from the LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at the press conference, Trutanich said law enforcement agencies are ready to do their job if people still choose to drive under the influence.
"If you're dumb enough to drink and drive... trust me the guys standing around me are smart enough to catch you," he said. "What would be a good New Year starts off as a bad New Year. Save someone's life, including your own, and don't drink and drive."
Los Angeles police officers arrested 14,775 intoxicated drivers in 2011. LASD booked 1,773 people for suspected DUI between Dec. 14-29 during a holiday campaign against drunk driving.