Police receive grant to combat DUIs

Laguna Beach police will increase checkpoints and DUI enforcement thanks to a new $32,000 grant.

The Laguna Beach Police Department was awarded a traffic safety grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to be used toward an anti-DUI program to prevent injuries and deaths from drivers under the influence, according to a release by the police department.

"DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed from 2006 to 2010 in California," Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, said in the news release. "But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one-third of traffic fatalities, the city of Laguna Beach needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that this grant will provide."

The grant will be used to educate the public through DUI/driver's license checkpoints as well as other activities to target impaired drivers. Specially trained officers will be on hand, when possible, to check drivers suspected of drug-impaired driving.

In Laguna Beach, there were 27 serious injuries from alcohol and drug-impaired crashes in 2010. Across the state, 791 people were killed and more than 24,000 people were injured in 2010.

Alcohol-involved car crashes drop by 20% when police conduct well-publicized checkpoints, according to the release.

— Britney Barnes

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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