The Santa Monica Police Department wants New Year’s Eve revelers to play it safe and keep those guns holstered and drunk drivers off the road.
Each year throughout the country as part of the New Year’s Eve celebration, some people chose to fire off a few rounds, not realizing the potentially deadly consequences of their actions, police said.
It is illegal to negligently fire a gun within the city limits of Santa Monica. The negligent discharge of a firearm is a felony. Bail for such an offense is set at $25,000.
Police are encouraging those who witnesses someone firing a gun to call 911 and report it. When calling, give the dispatcher as much information as possible about the shooting, police said. If you hear gunfire, call SMPD dispatch at (310) 458-8491 immediately.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463), or submit the tip online at wetip.com. Callers will remain completely anonymous and may be eligible for a reward, up to $1,000, if information provided leads to an arrest or conviction.
Witnesses can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting their Web site at www.lacrimestoppers.org. To text an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers, visit their Web page for detailed instructions. Tipsters can be eligible for a cash reward.
Police also want to remind revelers to not drink and drive. Officers will be out in full force New Year’s Eve conducting a sobriety saturation patrol in an attempt to arrest those driving under the influence. This is the first of several saturation patrols to be conducted over the next 12-month period. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The SMPD reminds drivers if you plan on drinking, have a designated driver or call a taxi cab to take you safely home.
Since 2005, the number of alcohol involved fatalities has been dropping, thanks to efforts like these, police said. But law enforcement and the public must continue to work toward zero deaths.
“Law enforcement officers are doing more to remove drunk drivers from California’s streets and highways thanks to our DUI traffic safety funding,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “But everyone can help make their communities safer; if you see a drunk driver, call 911.”