A $158,000 grant has been awarded to the Santa Monica Police Department to continue holding DUI/driver’s license checkpoints throughout the city during the next 12 months.
The grant is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Grant funding will allow additional officers to receive specialized training to detect impaired drivers under the influence of legal and illegal drugs. This training will provide on-the-spot assessment of drivers suspected of drug impairment.
Santa Monica Chief of Police Timothy Jackman said, “The grant activities will specifically target motorcycle safety, DUI offenders, drivers with suspended or revoked licenses, red light running, speeding, and seat belt violations. This will be done through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints and special enforcement operations.”
DUI/driver’s license checkpoints are a key component of the grant.
These highly-visible, widely-publicized events are meant to deter impaired driving, not to increase arrests.
Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of six dollars for every dollar spent.
This grant also provides drug impairment training to help combat the increasing problem of drivers under the influence of legal and illegal substances.