Paso Robles police awarded grants for traffic enforcement

The Paso Robles Police Department was recently awarded two grants from the state to pay for officer overtime for added traffic enforcement.

The first grant is for nearly $33,000 to fund six drunken-driving checkpoints in Paso Robles over the next year.

The checkpoints will coincide with major holidays or events in the city, officials said, when people are suspected of drinking more alcohol and are believed to be more likely to drive while intoxicated.

The second grant, for about $12,700, will pay for police operations to ensure drivers and passengers are wearing seat belts and child safety seats are being used properly.

The city’s DUI grant is separate from the $450,000 grant awarded earlier this year to San Luis Obispo County law enforcement agencies for the Avoid the 14 campaign.

That program will add sobriety checkpoints and increased enforcement efforts such as targeting specific areas with increased patrols, warrant searches and court stings countywide over the next three years.

The campaign is intended to send drivers the message that sober driving means motorists can avoid getting arrested by any of the 14 participating law agencies in the county.

Task force agencies participating this year include the Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles police departments; the CHP; California State Parks’ Hearst Castle and Oceano Dunes divisions; Cal Poly and Cuesta police departments; the county Probation and Sheriff’s departments and the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.