The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department recently unveiled a DUI Mobile Enforcement Unit as part of an effort to help make Pacific Coast Highway and local canyon roads safer.
The vehicle is equipped to aid with screening, sobriety tests and the collection and retention of evidence, according to Lt. Todd Weber of the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station.
The unit also has computers and other technology capable of connecting with law enforcement databases, Weber said. It can also be used as a mobile command unit during natural disasters.
Malibu Councilman Skylar Peak and City Manager Jim Thorsen attended the event, which took place Friday at the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station in Agoura Hills.
"It adds support for DUI, for fire and any incident. I think one of the most important things is obviously public safety and this is an added resource to public safety throughout Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains," Peak said.
Funding for the unit was provided by Los Angeles County Third District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who attended the unveiling.
"Driving under the influence is not smart anywhere, on any road or highway, and poses a dangerous public safety threat. Increasing anti-DUI checkpoints and patrols is a life-saving tool to help put a check on reckless drivers who drink too much and drive through our canyon and mountain communities, risking the lives of residents and visitors alike," Yaroslavsky said.
State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, was also on hand at the event.
"We have a tremendous asset here ... but we also have a tremendous responsibility to keep these roads safe," Pavley said.
The DUI Mobile Enforcement Unit is meant to aid the Operation Safe Canyons program, which began six years ago after numerous residents complained of street racing on Stunt Road in the Santa Monica Mountains. The goal of the program is to make the canyon roads in the surrounding area safer through a combination of education, engineering, and enforcement.
Sheriff Leroy Baca praised the collaboration between Yaroslavsky and the sheriff's department.
"I thank Mr. Yaroslavsky for partnering with Malibu/Lost Hills Station and making this incredible investment in public safety," Baca said.
The Lost Hills/Malibu Station serves the cities of Malibu, Agoura Hills and Calabasas. The unit will be used throughout those areas.