In most instances when a falling bullet strikes a person, it does so in the head or upper body, and is likely to cause serious injury or death. In California, discharging a firearm into the air is a felony and punishable by up to three years in state prison. If a stray bullet strikes someone, more serious consequences exist, including the possibility of the shooter being arrested for murder.
"Unfortunately, this type of activity is very familiar to our Department and has affected members of our community in the past" stated Patrol Deputy Chief Wally Hebeish. "We are excited about the upcoming year, and ask that you please consider others when celebrating. Your safety is our main priority."
Residents are strongly encouraged to report gunfire along with any other suspicious or criminal activity they see occurring. Callers should provide an exact location and physical description of suspect(s) and/or vehicle(s), along with license plate information, if it can be obtained safely. Most 9-1-1 calls from cell phones in Long Beach are directed to the Communications Center, however, callers may wish to program the Communications Dispatch phone number, (562) 435-6711, into their phones.
Residents are also encouraged to consider the following tips, which may help them enjoy a safe holiday:
Long Beach Transit will offer free rides starting at 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The service will also be extended with routes leaving the Transit Gallery on First Street between Long Beach Boulevard and Pine Avenue as late as 2:35 a.m. on New Year's Day. No special coupon or ticket is required.
People are encouraged to be a part of the designated driver very important person ("DDVIP") program. As a DDVIP, you can ensure those drinking get home safely and get rewarded for it. Partnering bars and restaurants statewide have created non-alcoholic specialty drinks ("DDrinks") for sober drivers: http://bit.ly/OTSDDrinks. You can also look up designated driver services in your area using the National Directory of Designated Driver Services (NDDDS).
Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving (RADD) also offers a Designated Driver Rewards program at 43 college campuses statewide: http://collegeisradd.org/campus-partners/. Local bars and restaurants provide non-alcoholic drinks and/or food specials to DD's.
Getting home safely is cheap, but getting a DUI is not! Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to be upwards of $13,500. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension, and other expenses not to mention possible jail time.