By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
MPD receives $75,000 grant to combat DUIs

With the holiday driving season just around the corner, the Manteca Police Department is gearing up to ensure that people get from one place to the other as safely as possible.

And they’ll have a new grant that will fund additional manpower needed to keep Manteca’s streets safe during the time of year when problems can arise.

On Monday the department announced it has received a $75,000 grant from the Office of Traffic Safety – administered through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – that will be used to “deter dangerous and illegal driving behaviors that increase the risk of crashes in the community.”

The funding allows for overtime to cover additional shifts required for measures such as DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols. While the checkpoints serve as an educational tool for the motoring public, the saturation patrols – where additional units are put onto the street to search for impaired drivers – have proven to be far more effective at removing drivers believed to be under the influences of alcohol and/or drugs.

“Impairment, speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors jeopardize the safety of other people on the road,” Manteca Police Department Operations Lieutenant Paul Carmona said in a statement announcing the grant. “This funding allows us to provide necessary traffic enforcement measures with the goal of reducing serious injury and fatal crashes on our roads.”

While DUI enforcement will be a major focus of the effort, it will also include all elements of safe driving practices including:

*Enforcement operations focused on driver behaviors that put vulnerable road users at risk.

*Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations focused on driver behaviors that put vulnerable road users at risk.

*Enforcement operations focused on top violations that cause crashes: speeding, failure to yield, stop sign and/or red light running, and improper turning or lane changes.

*Community education presentations on traffic safety issues such as distracted driving, DUI, speeding, and bicycle and pedestrian safety.

*Officer training and/or recertification for the Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).

While DUI education at one time focused almost solely on those that had consumed alcoholic beverages and climb behind the wheel of a vehicle, the widespread abuse of prescription medications and the now legal recreational use of cannabis has forced agencies like Manteca to ensure that officers are trained in how to identify those suspected of ingesting specific intoxicating substances that they may encounter during their work.

The additional training will mean that during the adjudication phase of the criminal justice system the officers that may be called to testify in cases involving driving under the influence will be up to date on the most-current scientific methods available to modern law enforcement.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.