Date: November 10, 2011 4:43 PM
The primary cause of deaths on our local streets and highways continues to be drunk driving and the Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force will keep up with their DUI enforcement in Marin County. DUI enforcement campaigns will continue as a result of a recent $170,000 grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety to the San Rafael Police Department. San Rafael Police Department will administer the one year grant for the entire county.
“The Avoid the 13 DUI Campaign is named to send the message that if you don’t drink and drive, you will avoid getting arrested by any of the 13 participating law enforcement agencies in our county” said San Rafael’s Police Chief Jeff Franzini. “Marin’s Avoid DUI Task Force is beginning its eleventh year and San Rafael PD is proud to continue to serve as the lead agency for this important program.” San Rafael has spearheaded the effort since it’s inception in 2001.
The grant activities will specifically target those who drink too much and get behind the wheel. Officers will be staffing DUI/Driver License Checkpoints, multi-agency DUI Task Force deployments, and local DUI saturation patrols for each partnering. Additionally, funding will target ‘worst of the worst’ repeat DUI offenders with Warrant/Probation Sweeps and Court Sting Enforcement Operations focusing on DUI offenders leaving court and driving away on suspended licenses after being ordered not to drive by a judge.
“The Avoid DUI Task Forces have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths on our roadways in the last five years in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “Tragically, DUI deaths remain the largest sector, at over 30 percent of traffic fatalities. This grant will help combat that, making San Rafael and Marin a safer place to live and work.”
DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints are a key component of the grant, being highly visible, highly publicized events meant to deter impaired driving, not to increase arrests. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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.
Motorist can expect to see special DUI campaigns during the Winter and Summer holiday periods as well as on Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and during local special events with identified DUI Problems. Funding for the grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Agencies participating in the Avoid the 13 task force include:
Belvedere PD, California Highway Patrol, Fairfax PD, Marin Community College Police, Marin County Sheriff’s Office, Mill Valley PD, Novato PD, Ross PD, San Anselmo PD, Sausalito PD, Tiburon PD, and Twin Cities PD.