NEW HAVEN TO RECEIVE $27K INCREASE FOR DUI PROGRAMS
(8/21/2007) INCREASE GRANTED IN TIME FOR STEPPED-UP LABOR DAY ENFORCEMENT
(NEW HAVEN)—The City of New Haven received notice today of an increase in funding from the State Department of Transportation for highway safety programs. This grant is targeted at taking drivers off of the streets who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The City will receive an additional $27,225 on top of the current grant bringing total funding for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) program to $95,175.
As part of the City’s DUI prevention and enforcement program, New Haven police have established a number of random checkpoints throughout the City, particularly on holiday weekends such as the Memorial Day checkpoints in May. The increase in funding from the State comes only weeks before a planned Labor Day enforcement initiative allowing the police department to increase the magnitude of that weekend’s activities.
“This is a great boost for our police department’s efforts to crack down on drunk drivers and to provide public education to prevent impaired driving,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “We’re thankful to the State for their continued assistance.”
In 2006, New Haven Police made a total of 353 arrests for impaired driving. So far this year, 220 DUI arrests have been made. Of the 353 arrests in 2006, the majority (75%) involved alcohol. About 11% of the 2006 DUI arrests showed some type of drug involvement, with or without alcohol. Over 300 of last year’s DUI arrests occurred between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., with 28 percent occurring downtown, the highest concentration in the City.
“Our officers are doing a great job of identifying problem areas, making arrests and enforcing measures to reduce the number of DUI drivers on our roads,” said Police Chief Francisco Ortiz. “An increase in funding means we can do more of this, put more officers out there for checkpoints and step-up our commitment to making New Haven streets safe.”
Arrests in 2006 showed an overwhelming amount of men found driving under the influence. Of the 353 drivers arrested, 305 were male and 48 were female.
Beyond checkpoints and specific police training on detecting impaired drivers, New Haven police have used DOT grants to provide literature to drivers in English and Spanish about safe driving, enhance toxicology technology and increase the number of officers who participate in DUI prevention during significant holidays. Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has also served as an important partner in DUI prevention providing volunteers to assist police at checkpoints and coordinating public education efforts.
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