Officials recently announced that at least two law enforcement agencies in Venture County have received new grants to enforce laws against driving under the influence. The federal funds are funneled to law enforcement agencies in the state by the California Office of Traffic Safety. The Oxnard and Ventura Police departments have been approved for federal funds to enforce California DUI laws through next September.

The federal funds will primarily be used for setting up sobriety checkpoints. The two cities reportedly received the grants due to statistics that place the municipalities on the top 50 list for alleged DUI-related casualties in California. Ventura is slated to receive $150,000 in federal funding to assist police in enforcing California’s DUI laws through September 2011. Meanwhile, Oxnard is set to receive $250,000 in grant money.

Oxnard police reportedly will be supplementing the DUI checkpoints with other high-visibility tactics, such as warrant searches and saturation patrols intended to uncover drunk drivers in the city. Oxnard also plans to set up sting operations outside the courthouse, seeking to catch alleged DUI offenders who have suspended licenses who attempt to drive away from the courthouse after appearing in court.

In Ventura, police say DUI checkpoints will be the main focus for the federal grant money. Ventura police say that the highly publicized DUI checkpoints are intended to act as a deterrent to drunk driving in the city, rather than to increase the number of DUI arrests actually made in the city’s enforcement efforts.

Source: Ventura County Star, “Oxnard, Ventura police get hefty grants to combat DUI,” Adam Foxman, Nov. 27, 2011