As a result of a newly received traffic safety grant, the city of Goleta will be implementing an anti-DUI program in order to establish safer streets for locals.
The $68,250 grant, awarded to Goleta by the California Office of Traffic Safety, will finance a program to educate the public on driving under the influence as well as more DUI checkpoints throughout the city. Specially trained officers will be present at checkpoints to identify drivers suspected of drug-impaired driving, who may be capable of passing breathalyzer or field sobriety tests.
If caught driving under the influence, drivers could face expenses over $10,000, license suspension, jail time, increased insurance fees, DUI classes and court-ordered probation.
Fatalities from impaired driving accidents account for many deaths across the nation; in 2010 alone, 791 people were killed and 24,000 were injured in alcohol and drug-related accidents. The city of Goleta reported three deaths and 18 injuries from impaired-driving crashes last year.
With frequent and publicized DUI checkpoints, alcohol-related driving accidents generally drop by an average of 20 percent, making checkpoints the most effective strategy for DUI enforcement. The program is expected to yield savings for the city, with a projected $6 returned for every $1 spent on the new plan.
The city’s new DUI project is funded through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the California Office of Traffic Safety, and the city will carry out these programs through the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.