The Hermosa Beach Police Department is encouraging downtown visitors to drink and act responsibly to avoid costly fines, jail time and other consequences of an arrest and conviction for public intoxication, assault and other illegal acts related to public intoxication.
“The City of Hermosa Beach is dedicated to supporting our local businesses and ensuring we have a thriving downtown for all our residents and visitors to enjoy,” Acting Police Chief Milt McKinnon said. “The City has worked to make Downtown a safer, cleaner and more desirable destination by improving lighting, security, cleaning services and more. But intoxicated visitors to Downtown continue to be a drain on our resources and a major setback to our efforts to make Downtown welcoming to all.”
Almost every weekend, McKinnon said the City’s first responders must assist, detain and/or arrest those who have had too much to drink and/or are under the influence of illegal drugs in the City’s downtown area. He said the holidays—including New Year’s Eve—can increase the number of celebrants and their consumption of alcohol and other intoxicating substances.
“Public intoxication and the other illegal acts associated with it add to the City’s costs and reduce our ability to respond to emergencies,” he said. “We will be strictly enforcing the laws over the holidays, and we are taking this additional step of alerting individuals of the dire consequences of an arrest and conviction in the hope that they will celebrate responsibly.”
Individuals arrested and prosecuted for public intoxication, driving under the influence, assault, urinating in public and other behaviors related to inebriation face fines and court costs that range from $1,000 to $3,000, and that doesn’t include the cost of an attorney.
They also face the prospect of jail time, probation, community service and/or an arrest record—all of which could harm their ability to get future jobs or retain their current jobs because of the time they would have to take away from work to attend court hearings, serve jail time and/or participate in community service.
“We encourage everyone to come to downtown Hermosa Beach and have a good time,” said Chief McKinnon. “But please drink responsibly for your own sake and for the safety and enjoyment of all who live, work and play in Hermosa Beach.”