Grant will help fund DUI checkpoints

The Huntington Beach Police Department has received $174,209 in grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, money that is intended to go toward creating a safer environment for drivers.

The funds will go toward further traffic safety enforcement and education, as well as training officers to detect drivers under the influence of legal and illegal drugs, said Police Chief Ken Small.

The goals are to prevent intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel and to create awareness by holding additional checkpoints throughout the city, which studies show reduce alcohol-related traffic collisions by 20% when they are held on a regular basis.

The city receives about the same amount from the Office of Traffic Safety each year.

The department would not be able to hold DUI checkpoints if it weren't for the grants, Small said.

"I think checkpoints are beneficial from two points," he said. "It gives us the ability to be out into the street, do face-to-face enforcement and education. The media is valuable as well. It allows us to get information out to the public at large about the importance of not drinking and driving."

mona.shadia@latimes.com

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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