MEL GIBSON WAS IN A BIND many Angelenos can relate to. No, not the whole having-to-explain-why-you-said-Jews-start-all-the-wars thing, but a more pragmatic, workaday dilemma: how to get from point A to point B when it's late in the evening and you may have had too much to drink. Gibson's solution was the familiar mistake -- careen down Pacific Coast Highway at nearly twice the speed limit, then lash out at the cops when they pull you over, according to the police report. But it didn't have to be that way.
The "Braveheart" star could have embraced 21st century technology to monitor his inebriation. A digital device that measures a user's blood-alcohol level is available at many yuppie gadget stores; all he has to do is pucker his lips and blow. If Gibson had a thirst no breathalyzer could discourage, there are other options. Marina del Rey's Executive Limousine service runs 24/7, discretion guaranteed, at $55 an hour for its six-person ride, with a four-hour minimum. ($220 is peanuts compared to the $1,600 fine for DUI -- let alone the fees for various lawyers, crisis managers and rehab counselors.) It's not hard to find cab companies, which generally charge $2 to $3 a mile, that accept phone calls through the night. Even in the 310.