CHP receives $5.6 million to curb drunken drivers

The California Highway Patrol has received $5.6 million in grant funding to crack down on people who drive while under the influence of alcohol. This comes at a time when the behavior continues to be a major problem on the state’s highways, CHP officials said. “Sadly, despite aggressive enforcement and public awareness efforts by our officers, impaired driving continues in California,” said Joe Farrow, CHP commissioner. “Every time you get behind the wheel after drinking, you put your life and the lives of others at risk.” Last year, the Department of Justice reported 217,201 DUI arrests statewide. The CHP made roughly 45-percent of those arrests. Also in 2008, the state law enforcement agency reported 65,929 fatal and injury collisions. Of those crashes, 9,568 involved alcohol, which resulted in 837 deaths and 13,140 injuries, the CHP reported. The grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will fund the CHP's “Border-to-Border DUI Enforcement Campaign." Through Sept. 2010, the grant will pay for things such as sobriety check-points, local traffic safety presentations, DUI task force operations and designated driver programs, as well as other traffic safety violations including speed, unsafe passing, seat belts and cell phones, the CHP said.
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