The California Office of Traffic Safety has awarded a grant of $161,160 to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The money will be used to replace aging breathalyzers that are used in a program that combats drunken driving. Currently, the program operates at 10 field sites throughout the county. The grant will allow the county to add three more sites to expand coverage and improve testing.
“These new breath alcohol instruments, along with the additional field sites, will enable law enforcement to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, and increase everyone’s safety,” said District Attorney Jeff Rosen.
The new equipment will be administered by the District Attorney’s crime lab, and operated by local police agencies.
Drunken driving is one of the nation’s deadliest crimes, according to the DA’s office. They note that in 2009, 950 people died in California in roadway crashes that involved a driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
“Thanks to the dedicated hard work of law enforcement agencies, California has seen a drop of nearly 27 percent in DUI fatalities,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. He added that it’s still important to keep the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness campaigns to keep the number of fatalities on a downward trend.