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$125,000 Anti-DUI Grant Will Beef Up Crack Downs

The Office of Traffic Safety awarded the city the grant for more DUI checkpoints.

Watch out for more on Friday nights.

As part of a $125,000 DUI grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety, the will conduct more of these checkpoints. The department said these are not meant to increase arrests, rather deter impaired driving.

“Thanks to the dedicated hard work of agencies like the Redwood City Police Department, California has seen a drop of nearly 27 percent in DUI fatalities,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy in a statement.  “While this is good news, we know that only by keeping the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness can we hope to sustain these declines and save lives.”

In 2009, 950 people throughout California died in roadway crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher.

Crashes involving alcohol drop by approximately 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough, research shows. They provide the most effective documented results of all DUI enforcement strategies and save $6 for every $1 spent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“Without [the California OTS’] assistance, it would be difficult to maintain the high level of citizen safety on the roadways that Redwood City and San Mateo County enjoy,” said Redwood City Interim Chief of Police Chris Cesena in a statement.

Grant funding also will fund roving DUI saturation patrols and specific traffic enforcement at intersections with a high rate of accidents.

This DUI Enforcement and Awareness grant also provides drug impairment training to help combat the increasing problem of drivers under the influence of legal and illegal substances.  Grant funding will allow four officers to receive specialized training to detect impaired drivers under the influence of legal and illegal drugs.  This training will provide on-the-spot assessment of drivers suspected of drug impairment.

“We are very grateful for the assistance that the California Office of Traffic Safety continues to provide to cities in San Mateo County to reduce vehicular fatalities and major injury crashes,” Cesena said.

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