The Memorial Day holiday is the unofficial start of summer with both opportunities to celebrate and warnings of overindulgence.

The Memorial Day holiday is the unofficial start of summer with both opportunities to celebrate and warnings of overindulgence.

Alcohol Awareness

Law enforcement agencies are warning residents to be prepared for the holiday.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is encouraging the public to plan ahead and designate a sober driver before participating in any celebrations where alcohol is involved this Memorial Day weekend. The department is also asking ABC licensed establishments to carefully monitor alcohol service to the public.

“Our goal is to improve safety in communities,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “In addition to the work ABC agents will be doing over the holiday weekend, we can all do our part in keeping everyone safe by planning to take alternative transportation or designate a sober driver to get home safely following celebrations involving alcohol.”

ABC agents will be out working in communities to help increase public safety. ABC licensees can also help keep communities safe by checking IDs and ensuring customers are not over-served.

Click it or Ticket

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is reminding drivers to be aware of traffic safety during the holiday weekend.

This year’s Click It or Ticket campaign is from May 22 – June 4. During this time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will have additional officers on patrol actively looking for drivers and passengers who are not wearing a seatbelt. This includes vehicles where children are not secured in child safety seats.

“Wearing a seat belt should be an automatic for all drivers and passengers,” Sgt. Michael Lennig said. “It’s the safe thing to do, especially when it comes to securing children in child safety seats.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 12,000 people killed in crashes throughout the country in 2021 were not wearing seat belts. In California, 756 people killed in crashes in 2020 were not wearing seat belts, or nearly 20 percent of all traffic deaths statewide.

California law requires a child to be secured in a safety or booster seat until they are at least 8 years old or at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall. Children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches tall.

Fleet Week

The weekend also includes Fleet Week with some military themed events in Venice.

The Marine Band San Diego’s Brass Band will perform on Saturday. With all the music being arranged and written by the members of the ensemble, this group brings a taste of the “Big Easy” to any crowd with its traditional New Orleans brass music all the way to the hip, top 40 music heard around the world today. They will perform from 6 – 7 p.m. at Washington Square in Venice (Washington Blvd and Ocean Front Walk).

The Navy Band Southwest provides a taste of New Orleans with the 32nd Street Brass Band on May 27. The 32nd Street Brass Band performs upbeat music for homecoming ship arrivals and community events. They will be performing in Washington Square (Washington Blvd and Ocean Front Walk) from 7:30 – 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Los Angeles Councilwoman Traci Park is also inviting residents to place flags at 8 a.m. LA National Cemetery 950 Sepulveda Blvd.

Local impact

The Santa Monica Police Department said they are ready for whatever happens.

“We are preparing for increased crowds like the ones we have had in the past,” said Lt. Erika Aklufi. “As the kickoff to summer, we expect lots of visitors in town, especially to the Pier and beach and will increase our staffing accordingly. In addition to extra officers on patrol, our Motor officers will be doing extra traffic and safety enforcement, particularly for DUIs and motorcycle and pedestrian safety.”

She said SMPD always reminds residents and visitors to remove or hide valuables from their parked car to prevent theft.

“Additionally, we shouldn’t have to keep reminding people of this, but we are seeing significant numbers of DUI drivers, including those driving while high,” she said. “If we find someone driving under the influence in Santa Monica, they will be arrested.”

Bus Schedule

On Monday, May 29, Santa Monica will move to a holiday schedule.

Facility Closures include City Hall, The Transit Store, offices at Memorial Park, offices at Virginia Avenue Park, The Cove Skatepark, PAL Youth Center, City Yards Operation Center and Santa Monica Public Library. Several services will run on a weekend schedule including the Big Blue Bus.


Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...