Police to use grant for DUI-related efforts

The Laguna Beach Police Department received a grant that will help boost DUI enforcement, according to a department news release.

The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded $51,253 to the department for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on the city's roads through special enforcement and public awareness campaigns, the release said.

The money will go toward field sobriety testing, DUI saturation patrols, distracted-driving enforcement, search warrants targeting multiple DUI offenders and compiling DUI "hot sheets," which seek to identify repeat violators, according to police.

The grant also will assist with traffic safety problems and to reduce the number of persons killed or injured in traffic collisions.

While traffic deaths from all causes declined by nearly 39% in California from 2006 to 2010, they increased by 2.6% in 2011, the release said.

State and federal officials anticipate another rise for 2012. The most recent statistics show that DUI deaths account for the largest amount — nearly 30% — of all traffic fatalities.

Recent trends show increases in two newly-identified categories — distracted driving and drug-impaired driving, according to the release.

—Bryce Alderton

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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