The party's over.
Cops from LAPD's Hollywood Vice have been cracking down on those mega stretch limos and hummers that cruise the clubs packed with booze and partiers. It's not the stripper poles and DJs the cops mind; it's the unregulated limos without permits they're after. Think of them as bandit taxis just a lot nicer on the inside.
We rode with Vice cops as a team of investigators pulled over these buses and limos for hire and checked for permits. Most didn't have permits, or driver's with the right type of DMV class license. That's scary says Sgt Steve Hwang of Hollywood Division because that also means these illegal limos also don't insurance if they get into an accident or someone gets hurt.
Sgt Hwang says not just anyone can drive one of those stretch limos, "You have to be trained."
Fifty officers from California Highway Patrol, Culver City Police, Inglewood Police, and Santa Monica Police were deployed for the crackdown. Now, here's the weird part, the Public Utilities Commission, you know the people who regulate gas bills, also regulate party buses and limos in California.
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Inspector Kim Quach of the PUC was armed with a badge and laptop where she ran all the TCP numbers. Those are the permits numbers you see on the back bumper of a limo or shuttle bus. Once Inspector Quach determined the permit had expired or was bogus, the CHP called in the tow trucks.
Limo's without permits or licensed drivers were impounded immediately and towed, leaving a lot of angry party goers with no ride home. One group from Malibu got really upset when their party bus was taken away that some of them started hitting our NBCLA camera and reporter.
By the end of the long night, 11 party buses and limos were impounded and 47 misdemeanor citations were issued. So just because the limo looks great, its stripper poles are shinny, and has a fancy TCP number on the bumper doesn't mean it's legit.