The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has been awarded a new traffic safety grant for an anti-DUI program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on Goleta roadways.
Enforcement measures to combat impaired driving are coming as a result of a recent $63,500 grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety to Goleta. The Sheriff’s Department is dedicated to keeping the streets safe through both enforcement and education.
“Obviously we want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired, and we hope the campaign will remind people that if they plan on drinking, to never get behind the wheel,” said Lt. Butch Arnoldi, Goleta’s police chief. “But if someone does choose to drive impaired, we will arrest them. No warnings. No excuses.”
The special DUI checkpoint grant is to assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug related collisions in the community. The grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as educating the public on the dangers of impaired driving through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints. Specially trained officers will be available at the checkpoints to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.
Drunken and drugged driving is among America’s deadliest crimes. In 2011, a modern day low of 774 people was killed and over 24,000 injured in alcohol and drug-impaired crashes in California. Crashes involving alcohol have been shown to drop by up to 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted frequently in a specific community.
All too often, members of our community are senselessly injured or killed on local roadways by impaired drivers.
“During 2011 and 2012, DUI collisions claimed 3 lives and resulted in 56 wrecks injuring 31 of our friends and neighbors in Goleta,” said Sgt. Kevin Huddle of the Goleta Traffic Unit.
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
— Kelly Hoover for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.