More police officers will be patrolling the streets of Newport Beach in the coming year, thanks to a grant from the state which will be used to reduce the number of DUI-related traffic accidents, car accident injuries, and car accident fatalities across the city. The $75,000 grant was awarded to the Newport Beach Police Department by the California Office of Traffic Safety in order to help curb drunk driving and drugged driving.
Fighting driving under the influence has been an ongoing battle both for California and for Newport Beach. Across the state, about one in three car accidents involve drinking and driving. Two years ago, DUI-related crashes resulted in 791 deaths in California and over 24,000 serious injuries. In Newport Beach, drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs caused three fatalities and 568 injuries. While numbers are slowly falling, police and safety advocates agree that DUI accidents remains one of the biggest traffic-related problems.
Newport Beach police say the grant money will be used mainly to increase police presence on the city’s roads and to get stop more drivers for DUI checkpoints. Research has shown that DUI checkpoints are extremely effective at deterring drunk driving behavior when well publicized and when conducted often.
In a statement released this week, officials said that DUI-related traffic accidents are reduced by 20 percent with the use of DUI checkpoints, and that DUI checkpoints are one of the most cost-effective ways to curb driving under the influence.
In addition to DUI checkpoints, grant money will be used for public education and awareness.