Scottsdale Police Department gets $50K to bolster DUI enforcement, education

An officer using a breathalyzer. (photo by Scottsdale Police Department)

The city of Scottsdale will receive grant funds up to $50,000 from the state of Arizona to support DUI enforcement and education.

The grant contract and the creation of a new cost center to record related grant activity was approved by Scottsdale City Council on consent Aug. 28.

The state of Arizona, on behalf of the Oversight Council on Driving or Operating Under the Influence Abatement, will reimburse the city for overtime costs and employee related expenses up to $50,000 for related DUI enforcement and education activities, according to a city staff report.

The Scottsdale Police Department uses a three-pronged approach to keep impaired drivers off city streets, the staff report states. The strategy includes increased officer training, increased enforcement staff and increased education.

Approximately six years ago, it addition to enforcement, the police department created the Know Your Limit program to pro-actively educate citizens on the harmful effects of driving while impaired. The Know Your Limit program allows citizens to blow in to a testing device to see the level of their blood alcohol prior to deciding to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

(File Photo)

After a couple of years of testing, the program has grown to be a huge success, the staff report states. At the citizen’s choice, more than 500 police officers have had contact with over 40,000 citizens since 2014, the report states.

The police department believes the program has been integral in reducing the number of alcohol-associated fatalities, impaired drivers contacted on the roadways and allowed the department to build trust within its community.

Within the Old Town Scottsdale entertainment area, the use of alternative transportation such as golf carts and pedi-cabs has increased. Meanwhile, safety concerns such as impaired golf cart drivers and insufficient passenger protection like seatbelts, has arisen, the staff report states.

With previous DUI abatement grant funds, SPD took the lead on addressing these safety concerns.

The new grant will continue these previous efforts by providing enhanced impaired driving education and enforcement within the city by providing reimbursement of overtime and related expenses.

Northeast Valley News Services Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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