About Town

by Anna Mavromati
Published February 21, 2008

Drunk wrecks will cost more
It’s going to cost more to drive drunk and get into a wreck in Redondo Beach.

The City Council Tuesday approved five new user fee increases to the city’s Master Fee Schedule.
The fee for a boat hoist coupon book is being raised from $10 to $20. Hazardous materials inspector responses will now cost $70 per hour, a fire department apparatus response (emergency vehicles) will be raised from $143 to $149 an incident. A response to a DUI (driving under the influence) collision involving the fire department will cost $411, while the police response is being increased from $175 to $460.

“It’s a bargain,” said Councilman Matthew Kilroy. “We’re talking DUIs. If you tripled that rate, I wouldn’t lose any sleep at all.”

But that doesn’t mean every DUI arrest made in Redondo Beach is going to bring in that much money. Police chief Joe Leonardi said that in order to be charged that much for a DUI, the arrest must also involve a collision and an injury. Although the city of Redondo Beach average at about 700 to 800 DUI arrests a year, about 200 of those arrests actually involve accidents and injuries.
“That’s a lot of drunks,” Kilroy said. “Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of drunks.”

User fees are payments made by consumers in exchange for government services. Increases in such fees are adjusted regularly to cover higher costs, but cannot exceed the cost to provide the service, said Diana Moreno, director of financial services.

“The cost actually is more than that,” Gwendolyn Parker, harbor, bus and transit director, said about the boat hoist fee increase. “We’re simply increasing it a bit more so we can have additional cost recovery.”

The fees are expected to increase general fund revenues by about $100,000 to $200,000. ER