Los Angeles County law enforcement officials, along with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, issued a warning to motorists that they will be arrested and prosecuted if stopped for driving under the influence of drugs. The warning comes following a release of statistics which show a sharp increase in the number of DUI drug arrests in Los Angeles County. Lacey and Feuer spoke at a news conference outside Los Angeles City Hall on December 18.
"This year, the message is even broader. It's not just about drinking and driving. It's about using drugs and driving," said City Attorney Mike Feuer. "The number of cases involving driving under the influence of drugs that our office has handled has increased by 66 percent in just a couple of years."
District Attorney Jackie Lacey noted that her office has filed more than 12,000 DUI cases during 2019, and that there has been an "alarming trend" in Los Angeles County in which the number of DUI cases involving marijuana has nearly quadrupled since 2017 following the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. "Whether somebody has legally obtained cannabis or not, it is still a crime to get in a vehicle and drive under the influence of drugs," Lacey said. She went on to say that DUI accidents causing deaths and injuries will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted.
Also attending the press conference was Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore. He advised that there will be increased DUI patrols throughout the holiday period this year. He said there will be dedicated DUI checkpoints, along with "saturation patrols," to try to nab motorists who are driving under the influence. The holidays often see an increase in DUI arrests, due to the higher than usual consumption of alcohol during these months. Law enforcement officials urged residents to be responsible and not drive while impaired this holiday season. Chief Moore encouraged Angelenos to use rideshare services or to rely on a designated, sober driver.
If you have been arrested for DUI and are facing charges criminal charges, or if you have already been convicted for DUI and simply have questions regarding the consequences of the conviction, CONTACT our office today to speak with Los Angeles DUI lawyer Robert D. Berglund.