Glendale to operate more DUI checkpoints

The Glendale Police Department has been awarded a $126,250-grant to operate 12 sobriety checkpoints starting Friday through Sept. 4 next year.

With Glendale on a strict budget, Police Traffic and Air Support Lt. Steve Robertson said the grant money “will allow us to staff these checkpoints without detracting from our other core traffic-related enforcement and education responsibilities, and without impacting the city’s General Fund.”

The funding comes on heels of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcement on Tuesday that drunk-driving related deaths in California reached an all-time low in 2010.

There were 791 drunk-driving-related deaths last year, down from 950 in 2009, according to the administration. But Los Angeles County saw a slight increase, from 153 in 2009 to 157 last year.

The state traffic agency attributed the overall decrease in drunk-driving-related deaths to the more than 2,500 sobriety checkpoints conducted last year, up from 1,740 such operations in 2009.

The traffic agency also distributed more federal funding last year to support the checkpoints, which, according to the administration, have proven to be most effective.

Countywide anti-drunk-driving campaign task forces also contributed to the overall reduction.

The task force plans to conduct a DUI checkpoint Saturday at an undisclosed neighborhood in Glendale.

As of November, there have been 91 DUI-related collisions in Glendale this year, Robertson said. And 81 motorists have been arrested during grant-funded operations in Glendale as of October this year.

In January, the traffic bureau will launch DUI education and enforcement efforts, in addition to making arrests, Robertson said.

“Our DUI team’s primary focus will be to strictly enforce drunk-driving regulations and to prevent and reduce the number of DUI related accidents, injuries and fatalities,” he said. “The DUI team will take a zero-tolerance approach to impaired driving.”

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