The Prescott Police Department has been awarded two grants totaling $35,000 from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. The funding will be used in conjunction with the city's ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.
"The Prescott Police Department is pleased to receive these grants from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety for a second year in a row," said Police Chief Jerald Monahan. "Enforcement of traffic safety laws is for the purpose of reducing death, injuries and property damage, and to promote highway safety, with emphasis on speed, occupant restraints, aggressive and distracted driving, and impaired driving."
GOHS funds enable police departments to provide saturated enforcement efforts during holidays and special events.
Prescott Police Lt. Amy Bonney says the police department will conduct at least one DUI enforcement detail per month beginning in October, 2015, and a minimum of eight speed and aggressive driver details at identified problem areas throughout Prescott, during the balance of the grant period, which runs through September 30, 2016.
In 2014, the Prescott Police Department made 272 DUI arrests and 71 miscellaneous liquor violations, which encompasses everything from open container in a vehicle to underage consumption.
The funds will also educate the public on the effects alcohol has on an individual's blood alcohol level through the Know Your Limit educational awareness campaign. Qualified officers will set up stations in downtown Prescott and other selected areas to provide citizens the opportunity to be tested by a portable breath tester. These individuals will then be able to see how their alcohol consumption affects the amount of alcohol in their bloodstreams. Officers will also provide each participant with an informational flier outlining the program.
The ultimate goal of this program is to provide alcohol awareness to individuals who have consumed alcoholic beverages and allow them to understand their level of alcohol. This information will help individuals to make informed choices before they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
"Impaired driving is one of America's most often committed and deadliest crimes," said Lt. Bonney. "Disobeying traffic laws and driving under the influence carry high penalties including high monetary fines, possible criminal charges and the loss of driving privileges. Most important is the high human cost in lost and damaged lives."
"Please help the Prescott Police Department in its effort to keep our streets safe, added Bonney. "Follow all traffic laws and if you drink, do so responsibly. Plan ahead of time to have a designated driver. The life you save may be a family member's, a friend's or your own."