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LBPD Challenges Drivers to ‘Silence’ the Distraction

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Laguna Beach Police Department will be joining law enforcement agencies statewide to stop drivers who violate California’s hands-free cell phone law. In April, the Laguna Beach Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking specifically for drivers on their phones.

Law enforcement officials noted that distracted driving is dangerous, especially when it involves a cell phone. According to preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 66 people were killed and more than 6,500 injured in 2017 from distracted driving-related crashes. Cell phones remain one of the top distractions for drivers.

“That text or phone call will never be worth losing a life over,” LBPD Lt. Tim Kleiser said. “That is why curbing distracted driving is high on our priority list.”

Under the most recent cell phone law, drivers are prohibited from using their phone, except in a hands-free manner. The phones must be mounted on the dashboard, windshield or center console, and can only be touched once with the swipe or tap of a finger to activate or deactivate a function. First-time offenders face a $162 fine.

“If you need to make a call or text someone, pull over and park at a safe location,” LBPD officials said.

Funding for distracted driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Sunday, April 7

Drunk driving. 12:02 a.m. North Coast Highway and Cajon Street. A 47-year-old Huntington Beach woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving with a BAC over 0.08 percent and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 12:21 a.m. 600 block of Park Avenue. A 38-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving with a BAC over 0.08 percent and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 1:18 a.m. 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Road. A 41-year-old Irvine man was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving with a BAC over 0.08 percent and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 2:43 a.m. Brooks Street and Temple Terrace. A 31-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI and held for $10,000 bail.

Saturday, April 6

Traffic stop. 12:13 a.m. Montage Resort Drive and Coast Highway. A 25-year-old Laguna Niguel woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving with a BAC over 0.08 percent and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 1 a.m. Forest Avenue and Broadway Street. A 35-year-old Irvine man was arrested on suspicion of DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 1:31 a.m. 200 block of Thalia Street. A 28-year-old Laguna Beach woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving with a BAC over 0.08 percent and held for $10,000 bail.

Traffic stop. 2:57 a.m. 200 block of Ocean Avenue. A 19-year-old Irvine man was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving with a BAC over 0.05 percent and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 3:34 a.m. Legion Street and South Coast Highway. A 25-year-old San Juan Capistrano woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving with a BAC over 0.08 percent and held for $2,500 bail.

Friday, April 5

Traffic stop. 10:02 p.m. 31400 block of Coast Highway. A 62-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Thursday, April 4

Reckless driving. 4:30 p.m. A 51-year-old Costa Mesa man was cited for driving with a license suspended for DUI. The man reportedly nearly collided with two vehicles and a bicyclist and pushed the reporting caller into oncoming traffic before cutting off several more vehicles.

Trespassing. 7:39 p.m. 1200 block of Coast Highway. An apparently homeless man was refusing to leave the premises. The 61-year-old Costa Mesa man was arrested for trespassing ($500 bail) and resisting arrest ($500 bail).

Disturbance. 10:07 p.m. 200 block of Broadway Street. An apparently homeless man was seen pounding on a window and rubbing his face on the window, “scaring people passing by.” The 29-year-old Irvine man was arrested for vandalism ($500 bail), resisting arrest ($500 bail), and probation violation (no bail, 10-day flash hold).

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