This is an LA Weekly public service announcement: If you're too drunk to walk, you're too drunk to drive. And take heed this holiday season as you paw that last snifter to keep you warm on your way home: Police have a lot of surveillance cameras watching you these days.
One captured 40-year-old James Diaz as he stumbled to his 2000 Honda, companion at his side, Thursday night in Redlands, police say. A volunteer camera operator spotted the telltale tequila two-step, authorities allege, and alerted officers on patrol near the 300 block of Orange Street that the suspect had driven off toward the west.
When cops caught up with Diaz a few beats later, they arrested him and tested him. The result? They say his blood alcohol level was four times the legal limit.
“In the past three weeks alone, just in the downtown area, surveillance camera operators have assisted in the arrest of two drunken drivers and four people who were seen selling and using heroin in a public parking lot,” stated Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueermann. ” … An alert volunteer camera operator may very well have prevented a tragedy.”