[KHTS] – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to approve more than $2.5 million in funding for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to conduct DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols over the next year, particularly during the winter holidays and over Labor Day Weekend.
The Board also approved a $10,000 estate bequest for the Castaic Animal Care Center to improve their “dog get acquainted yard” where families meet new pets.
Each year, the county receives funding for drunk driving enforcement, saturation patrols and checkpoints from the state Office of Traffic Safety. This year in the amound of $1,100,000. The University of California at Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center will also provide $1,419,250.37 in federal money awarded by the state to the University of California system.
The funds will go toward “(reducing) the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol-involved and drug-involved traffic collisions, and (reducing) the number of hit and run fatality and injury collisions,” County Sheriff Lee Baca said in a letter to the board.
Specifically the OTS grant will be used to conduct hundreds of enforcements that target drunk driving, distracted driving associated with cell phones and motorcycle safety.
In addition, a number of deputies will complete Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Drug and Alcohol Recognition and Drug Recognition Expert training.
The UC Berkeley grant will be used specifically to conduct 137 sobriety checkpoints in 17 cities in the county.
The Santa Clarita Valley will receive $120,648 from this grant alone.
The latest checkpoint in the SCV, on Friday, Sept. 13, netted two arrests for impaired driving and sent at least 12 people were sent to court for suspended licenses and vehicle code violations.
In a previous interview, Sgt. Richard Cohen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station described the importance of cracking down on drunk driving.
“Over the course of the past five years, DUI collisions have claimed 11 lives and resulted in 255 injury crashes harming 363 of our friends and neighbors,” Cohen said. “If everyone planned ahead for a sober non-drinking designated drivers these numbers could be lowered to Zero.”
The $10,000 bequest from the estate of John P. Buss will improve safety for the Castaic Animal Care Center.
The Department of Animal Care and Control has earmarked the money to install lighting in the “dog get acquainted yard” at the shelter, where families interact with dogs they are considering adopting.
“Providing lighting to this area will increase safety and extend the time it can be used during the shorter days of winter,” said DACC Director Marcia Mayeda in her letter to the board.