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Local News in Brief : ‘Designated Driver’ Program Set to Start

To combat a rise in drunk driving-related accidents in Malibu, the California Highway Patrol is launching a new designated-driver program to offer incentives for motorists to stay sober.

Beginning Friday night, the Malibu CHP office will start a program where participating Malibu restaurants will offer one person in a group free soft drinks, appetizers or desserts to encourage abstinence from alcohol. The program is the first of its kind in Los Angeles County.

The CHP office in Malibu last year reported 134 alcohol-related crashes in 1988, nearly a 50% increase from the previous year. So far this year, the number of traffic accidents involving drivers under the influence has jumped 100%.

Already, about 15 area restaurants, including such well-known eateries as Alice’s, Beaurivage, Geoffrey’s, La Scala, Gladstone’s and Splash have agreed to sponsor the program.

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