Grills will be sizzling, clubs will be hopping, and your head will be buzzing.
The 4th of July weekend starts tonight. And so does the annual crackdown on Independence Day drunk drivers. The British colonies gave us beer, but if you don't declare that you've had enough before it's too late you'll end up ruining your American dream.
The Los Angeles Police Department and other agencies are, by law, supposed to give us advance warning about DUI checkpoints. But the LAPD goes one further and distributes exact times and places for such operations.
The department says that making you precisely aware of its checkpoints could dissuade you from drinking too much and getting behind the wheel. And that could save lives.
Here's the 411:
-Tonight from 7 p.m. to midnight a checkpoint will be running at one of the LAPD's favorite locations, Vermont Avenue and Fifth Street in Koreatown.
-Tonight from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department will operate a DUI checkpoint at an undisclosed location in the city of Compton.
-Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight look for a checkpoint at Central Avenue and 81st Street in South Los Angeles.
-Friday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. a checkpoint will be rocking your world at Sepulveda Boulevard and Rayen Street in North Hills.
-Friday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. a checkpoint will be up and running at Florence Avenue and Broadway in South Los Angeles.
-Friday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. a rare Westside checkpoint will happen at Washington Boulevard and Yale Avenue in Venice.
-Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. extra patrol cars and police motorcycles will hit the streets of the LAPD's 77th Street Division, which covers the heart of South L.A. The department calls this type of operation a “saturation patrol.”
-Sunday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. a saturation patrol will strike in the LAPD's Southwest Division area, which stretches from USC to Baldwin Hills.
-Sunday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. a saturation patrol will cruise the streets of the LAPD's Mission Division area, which includes Arleta, Panorama City, Sylmar, North Hills and Mission Hills.
-Sunday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. an LAPD saturation patrol will hit the streets of the Central Bureau area, which includes downtown, Westlake, Echo Park, Boyle Heights and more.
If you're in a bind, the AAA of Southern California is rolling out its Tipsy Tow service. The AAA says:
For the 18th year, the service is available from 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 4, to help remove drinking drivers from the road. Tipsy Tow is available in the 13 Southern California counties served by the Auto Club. Tipsy Tow is not offered by all AAA clubs.
Motorists, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts or passengers of a drinking driver may call 1-800-400-4AAA for a free tow home of up to seven miles. Callers simply tell Auto Club operators, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” to receive the free tow and ride home. A regular Auto Club-contracted roadside service truck will be dispatched.
Now there's no excuse not to have a safe holiday weekend.