Orange County Police Receive Cannabis Tax Grant for DUI Intervention Training – The Epoch Times

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Five Orange County cities—Anaheim, Brea, Fullerton, Irvine, and Orange—received funding this month from the state’s cannabis sales tax revenue for their police officers to be better trained in preventing tragedies caused by people driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.
This year, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Cannabis Tax Fund Grant distributed over $12 million among 45 local law enforcement agencies and nonprofits that applied for the grant to fund DUI intervention and prevention projects.
“This is an opportunity to work with various traffic safety stakeholders to help make California’s roadways safer for all who use them,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a June 30 statement (pdf).
The Brea City Council voted on July 19 to accept about $133,000 from the grant, which can cover a year’s worth of DUI training program for its police officers, which focuses on “education, prevention, and enforcement of laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, including cannabis,” according to the council’s meeting agenda. It will also include training for conducting effective investigations into traffic collisions.
Part of the funds would be allocated toward a mobile commands post—a roadside testing site equipped to detect any influence of alcohol or drugs on drivers—for officers to be trained out in the field, a spokesperson for the city’s police department told The Epoch Times.
Anaheim was awarded the $85,000, which will allow its officers to be trained on identifying and removing alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers from the street, as well as supporting public education to prevent DUI, according to a July 12 city staff report.
Fullerton approved its $500,000 CHP grant for three classes on DUI intervention, according to a July 5 council meeting agenda. The city’s police department hosts schools that provide such classes for officers from all over Southern California.
The City of Orange also received about $255,000, which, besides covering DUI training, will backfill patrol officers attending training to ensure an adequate level of police presence to keep the community safe.
Sergeant Phil McMullin, spokesman for the city’s police department, told The Epoch Times this grant would allow thirty officers to be trained.
“Our goal is to save lives,” he said. “We have seen far too much tragedy lately due to impaired drivers.”
Irvine was also awarded the grant, according to the CHP—but the city council has not discussed or disclosed the amount of the grant or how it will be utilized.
California voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016—The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use Marijuana Act—to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older. The proposition also includes a mandate for the state to set aside tax revenue from cannabis sales for the CHP grant to reduce impaired driving incidents in the state.
Local agencies can submit grant proposals in February to apply for funds for their projects in the following fiscal year, which starts July 1.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ most recent data, there were 127,437 DUI arrests across the state in 2018, and 10,934 were in Orange County (pdf)—a 9.2 percent increase from two years before.
In 2018, DUI crashes led to over 3,800 fatalities statewide, with 437 deaths caused by drugs only and 307 deaths by a mixture of drugs and alcohol.
Anaheim, Fullerton, and Irvine’s police departments did not respond to requests for comment by press time.


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