The Santa Monica Police Department has been awarded a $43,200 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for an anti-driving under the influence program that involves conducting random checkpoints in the city.
Capt. Carolin Larson noted that the grant funding will allow the police department to apprehend people found driving while impaired and to provide education to the community through DUI checkpoints.
The grant will assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed or injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the community, police said.
Activities supported by the funding will include targeting offenders who drive impaired as well as educating the public on the dangers of impaired driving.
When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, police said. Crashes involving alcohol reportedly drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often, and checkpoints have proven to be the most effective of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, police said.
“DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed from 2006 to 2010 in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, Santa Monica needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that this grant will provide.”
Funding for the grant is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Information, Sgt. Phillbo Rubish of the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit at (310) 458-8950.