SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is enlisting the assistance of a federal grant to help turn up the heat on impaired drivers throughout the state. More than 1,000 people in California are killed in collisions every year because of an impaired driver. To help save lives and combat driving under the influence (DUI) offenders, the CHP was awarded a federal grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Last year, CHP officers made nearly 80,000 DUI arrests throughout the state. Although this is an 8 percent decrease from 2011, it still demonstrates there is a significant problem that needs to be addressed.
“One way to address the issue is by increasing awareness among motorists about the dangers of impaired
driving,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “It is important to ensure that every person who operates
a motor vehicle is informed about the state’s DUI laws and the devastation that is caused by impaired drivers.”
Through a combination of public awareness efforts and strenuous enforcement, similar anti-DUI campaigns undertaken by the CHP have assisted in decreasing the number of collisions, but there is still significant work that needs to be done. According to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, in 2011, there were more than 17,000 alcohol-involved collisions in California, with more than 1,000 people killed, and almost 24,000 injured.
Throughout the next several months, the CHP will use the grant to launch a statewide media campaign,
host at least 100 traffic safety presentations, conduct more than 200 sobriety and driver license checkpoints, and deploy 75 DUI saturation patrols throughout the state.
“With these comprehensive efforts, our goal is to lower collisions, deaths and injuries related to drinking and driving,” said Commissioner Farrow. “The motoring public can help. If your plans include alcohol, be sure to designate a driver. We want everyone to be safe on California’s roadways.”
Education and enforcement efforts associated with the CHP’s yearlong Alcohol Enforcement, Reduction, and Traffic Safety” grant will continue through September 30, 2014.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.