See the update on page 2 with stats from Costa Mesa's DUI checkpoint.
ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 26, 2:29 P.M.: While they may not pack as extreme a nightmare as, say, playing an Angel game at the Big A at the same time Rihanna is singing in the Honda Center and the last remnants of the evening rush hour are just trying to get home, events are conspiring to potentially cause Costa Mesa-Newport Beach motoring headaches through the weekend. Sobriety checkpoints in both cities are only partly to blame and–oh yeah–Huntington Beach and Mission Viejo have DUI stops of their own.
The Newport Beach Film Festival, which kicked off Thursday night at Newport Center (as our Aimee Murillo so engagingly told you), continues there and in the Fashion Island Cinema in the center's mall. So what better time for the local police department to throw up a DUI checkpoint at Jamboree Road and Santa Barbara Drive? Yep, that's right next to the shopping mall, and it runs from 8:30 tonight through 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
The film festival also goes off at the Port Theatre in Corona del Mar, the Lido in Lido Village and other parts of Newport Beach. But outside of Newport Center/Fashion Island, the cinematic extravaganza's only other theater with multiple screens is up Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa's Triangle Square (or I believe the hep cats are calling it The Triangle these days–and by hep cats I mean marketing monkeys).
Anyway, guess who else has a checkpoint tonight? None other than the Costa Mesa Police Department, from 8 through 3 a.m. Saturday. It's department policy not to disclose the location of checkpoints, so any festivalgoers hopping city borders between venues should keep their fingers crossed.
Another Newport Beach-adjacent town, Huntington Beach, has a checkpoint from 8:30 tonight through 2:30 a.m. Saturday (location also undisclosed). Getting a jump on all of them is the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which runs a sobriety stop in far off Mission Viejo from 6 tonight through 2 a.m. Saturday (Location? Pound sand, rummy!).
But wait, there's more! The Newport Beach Police Department also issued this traffic advisory this morning:
San Nicolas Drive from Newport Center Drive east to Avocado Avenue will be closed to thru traffic beginning Saturday, April 27, at 4 p.m. through Sunday afternoon. This area is designated as the Festival Zone.
On Sunday, April 28, between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 a.m., roads surrounding Fashion Island and Newport Center will be closed for the walk.
Parking is available in the two parking structures located at Santa Rosa Drive and Center Drive. Please follow posted signs and directions.
That's not the film festival zone, mind you, but the one tied to the the March of Dimes-March for Babies Walk, which is at least cuter than a drunken perp walk. (Visit www.marchforbabies.org for details.)
Film festival events and screenings continue at Fashion Island and/or Newport Center from 11 a.m. through about 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9:30ish Sunday. Tourists and filmmakers from all over the world will be there to learn all our colorful names for traffic.
UPDATE, APRIL 28, 8:59 A.M.: Turns out the Costa Mesa DUI checkpoint was in a spot that could snare NBFF-goers hopping between theaters in Newport Beach and The Triangle: northbound Newport Boulevard at 17th Street. The operation resulted in six arrests, according to the Costa Mesa Police Department. Here are the stats:
2,539 vehicles through the checkpoint
439 vehicles screened
21 field sobriety tests administered
6 DUI-alcohol suspects arrested
0 DUI-drug impaired suspects arrested
11 Drivers cited/arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended/revoked
0 other citations issued (unrelated to unlicensed or suspended/revoked license)
0 Non-DUI arrests (warrants, felonies, etc.)
6 vehicles were stored or impounded