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Palm Desert Awarded Large Grant to Combat DUI Driving

The California Office of Traffic Safety is providing the grant to fund DUI checkpoints.

The Palm Desert Police Department has been awarded a $73,000 grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety to fund an anti-DUI program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on the city’s roadways.

The city, with its numerous restaurants and well-known, high-end shopping district, has battled high number of DUI incidents in the past.

"DUI Drivers continue to cause needless injuries and deaths here in Palm Desert and the entire Coachella Valley,” said Police Captain Kevin Vest. “Simply avoid any chance of killing or maiming someone else by using a designated driver."

The grant will fund DUI checkpoints that are used to target impaired drivers and educate the public on the dangers driving under the influence, police officials said.

In 2010, two people were killed and 21 injured DUI related crashes in Palm Desert. Crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough, officials said.

“Checkpoints have proven to be the most effective of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent,” officials wrote in a news release.

"DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed from 2006 to 2010 in California," said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. "But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, Palm Desert needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that this grant will provide."

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