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Mon, Oct. 14

Chino police will use grants for holiday safety

The Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety has awarded the Chino Valley Police Dept. two grants totaling $13,286 in Federal funds that the department hopes will make highways, and the holiday season, a little more safe for local drivers.

CVPD Cmdr. Mark Garcia said the department plans to use the additional money to purchase a new handheld laser radar speed detection device, a Portable Breath Tester (PBT), and increase the department's overtime budget for expanded patrols.

"Our goal is to make the roads and highways in Chino Valley safer to drive," Garcia said. "If we can go through the entire holiday season with zero DUI arrests and zero accident fatalities, then we consider that a successful holiday season."

Garcia added that the increase in enforcement manpower and better driver education is key to meeting that goal.

"We don't want to arrest people. We want drivers to take a taxi or use a designated driver if they are impaired," Garcia said. "Our hope is that everyone is safe. Anytime we can get an impaired driver off the roadway, the roadway is safer."

Garcia also stressed the financial repercussions of impaired driving.

"First-time DUI convictions include roughly $1,800 in fines, a 90-day mandatory license suspension, a mandatory vehicle ignition interlock device, and the possibility of up to 10 days in jail. An arrest for Extreme DUI, above .15 BAC, carries an even higher penalty," he said.

The laser radar speed device will allow officers to better enforce speed limits and keep the roads safer, especially along Highway 89.

"The laser device helps us pinpoint the vehicles that are speeding with better accuracy than the traditional radar guns," said Garcia. "We'll be able to increase speed enforcement efforts on the highway and keep the roads safer."

Garcia said the CVPD wished to thank Alberto Gutier, Director of the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, and his office for making the money available.

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