The Davis Police Department will administer a recent $86,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to deal with impaired driving in Yolo County.
“Drunken and drugged driving remains the No.1 killer on our roadways, with 774 deaths and over 24,000 injuries,” a Police Department news release said. “The ‘Avoid the 8′ DUI Task Force will be combating this deadly problem through DUI enforcement efforts in Yolo County.”
Added Assistant Police Chief Darren Pytel, “The ‘Avoid the 8′ DUI Task Force is named to send the message that if you don’t drink or use drugs and drive, you will avoid getting arrested by any of the eight participating law enforcement agencies in the county.”
The grant activities will specifically target those who get behind the wheel after drinking too much or using drugs that impair driving. Officers from law enforcement agencies across the county will staff DUI/driver’s license checkpoints, multi-agency DUI task force deployments and local DUI saturation patrols.
Additionally, funding will target the “worst of the worst” repeat DUI offenders with warrant/probation sweeps and court sting enforcement operations focusing on DUI offenders with suspended licenses who drive from court hearings after being ordered not to by a judge.
A large part of grant funding will go to DUI/driver’s license checkpoints — visible, publicize events not only meant to make arrests, but to deter impaired driving in the first place. Crashes involving alcohol have been shown drop by up to 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent, and are supported by nearly 90 percent of California drivers.
Agencies participating in the Avoid the 8 Task Force include the Davis, Winters, West Sacramento, Woodland and UC Davis police departments; Yolo County Probation Department, Yolo Emergency Communication Agency and California Highway Patrol.