It’ll be a happy new year Saturday at midnight — unless you’re really unhappy in jail for drunken driving or for firing a gun into the air in a misguided, dangerous attempt to celebrate.
Law enforcement agencies in Southern California will be tough on lawbreakers, warning New Year’s Eve celebrants to party safely this weekend or face life-changing consequences.
“Despite public warnings and common sense, many people across Los Angeles disregard advisements and basic firearm safety and discharge firearms into the air to celebrate the arrival of the new year,” said Deputy Lillian Peck of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“The adage of ‘what goes up, must come down’ rings especially true in this case,” Peck said. “The danger of injuring someone with firing even a single round into the air is a lethal prospect.”
Shooting into the air is a felony, she said. “If you see someone discharge a firearm in public or into the air, take immediate shelter and call 911. Do not attempt to confront the shooter.”
Agencies including the Manhattan Beach Police Department also urged holiday revelers not to drive buzzed or drunk. People were warned to designate a driver who will remain sober or take a taxi or public transportation home.
Authorities said drunken driving convictions can result in loss of license, thousands of dollars in fines and expenses and a criminal record.
— Staff and wire reports
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