Fortuna police receive $65,000 grant to administer countywide DUI enforcement

The Fortuna Police Department will be administering a $65,000 state grant to increase "Avoid the 7" DUI task force enforcement across Humboldt County, the department announced Wednesday in a press release.

"This program has helped Humboldt County law enforcement agencies educate the public and remove impaired drivers from our roadways," Coordinator Sgt. Charles Ellebrecht said in the release. "With this funding, our agencies can continue working with the public to make our roadways safer for all who use them."

Officers from law enforcement agencies across the county will jointly staff DUI/driver license checkpoints, multi-agency DUI Task Force deployments, and local DUI saturation patrols, according to the release. The "worst of the worst" repeat DUI offenders will be targeted with warrant/probation sweeps, and court sting enforcement operations focusing on DUI offenders who drive on suspended licenses after being ordered not to drive by a judge.

A large part of grant funding will go to DUI/drivers license checkpoints. Special DUI campaigns are planned for the winter and summer holiday periods as well as on Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo and during local special events with identified DUI problems, according to the release.

Funding for the grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Agencies participating in the "Avoid the 7" task force include the Arcata Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Eureka Police Department, the Ferndale Police Department, Humboldt County District Attorney's Office, and the Rio Dell Police Department, according to the release.