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COSTA MESA : Grant Will Help Police Fight Drunk Drivers

Of the 315 cities in the state with a population over 10,000, Costa Mesa ranks as the 23rd worst in alcohol-related accidents, according to a study conducted by the Institute of Transportation at the University of California last year.

Help, however, is on the way.

The Police Department received a $15,000 grant last week from the Office of Traffic Safety to purchase a trailer and three alcoholic Breathalyzers to conduct sobriety checkpoints once a month for the next 12 months.

The City Council last week agreed to lend the money to the Police Department until it receives the grant, at which time the city will be reimbursed.

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Police Chief David L. Snowden and Sgt. D. Walker said they believe the sobriety checkpoints will increase the number of DUI arrests while reducing the number of DUI collisions.

According to a three-year study conducted by the Police Department, one quarter of the traffic fatalities in the city are caused by drunk drivers. Of the six traffic fatalities in the first three months of 1994, three were caused by somebody driving under the influence of alcohol.


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