The Glendora Police Department’s “Know Your Limit” program began recently at bars and restaurants throughout town to raise awareness of how little alcohol it takes to go beyond the legal limit.
Officers armed with breathalyzer machines entered these bars and restaurants after notifying management a few weeks ago and approached patrons, offering free breath-alcohol tests to determine their blood alcohol content, offering the volunteering customers an opportunity they normally would receive when pulled over to conduct field sobriety tests.
Police did not set out to arrest anyone if they blow over .08, police said. The overall goal was to educate customers on being aware of how much is too much.
“The goal is to keep the roadways safe, with a target of getting people off the road before they even get into their cars,” said Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab in a written statement.
In all, 59 customers throughout the city volunteered for the test.
The establishments were chosen based on previous cases of DUI drivers having come from those locations the past two years, police said.
While the restaurants and bars knew officers would conduct the program, management was unaware when police would show up.
The Glendora Police Department was the first agency in Los Angeles County to participate, authorities said.
Officers visited four businesses the night of December 26, two of them being T. Phillip’s Alehouse on Glendora Avenue and Glendora Continental on Route 66.
Patrons were asked to guess what their blood alcohol content was, then they provided a breathalyzer test to see the actual results.
“I just want to support the Glendora Police Department. They actually made it fun and the patrons they interacted with appreciated the awareness,” said Jennifer Kerzie, owner of T. Phillips Alehouse.
The highest blood alcohol content reading Friday night was .19, police said.
However, when conducting the voluntary tests while out on the patio area, Kerzie noted that patrons inside cleared out a bit once they saw the breathalyzer being used.
The majority of the volunteers stated the experience was a “reality check,” police said. Patrons were surprised when their blood alcohol content was shown to be higher than they originally thought.
“Ultimately, our message is not to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system but if you do have a cocktail, you should be aware of how much is too much,” Staab said.
Wendy Brewer, senior community service officer for Glendora Police, was mighty impressed with the Know Your Limit program Friday night.
“The public response was so overwhelming we only made it to four of the six bars and restaurants we planned for. In total, 59 patrons blew on the PAS and more than that were educated,” Brewer said.
One patron was less enthusiastic about the Know Your Limit Program.
A Glendora resident who identified himself as “Barnaby” was with two friends at Glendora Continental the night of December 26 where officers showed up with a breathalyzer in tow.
“For the intoxicated people it turned into a gameshow and they were being cheered to blow,” Barnaby said. Patrons who just arrived to the restaurant seemed very uncomfortable.
From the conversations Barnaby heard at Glendora Continental that night, people were allegedly testing well over the legal limit, some even at .11.
“It’s raising awareness the wrong ways. I don’t think this is good for a business owner. I wouldn’t go back after that,” Barnaby.
The success of the Know Your Limit program will hinge on participation and reception from restaurant patrons, employees and management. Officers will compare arrests and collisions on these weekends to other weekends without Know Your Limit visits, police said.
The program is funded through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Do you think current gun restrictions, background checks and laws are enough?
- There are too many restrictions already (50%, 947 Votes)
- Yes, they should remain the same (26%, 497 Votes)
- No, we need further restrictions, background checks or laws (24%, 453 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,897