Craig police seek DUI grant | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig police seek DUI grant

Amy Hamilton

Craig police say they are so busy going from call to call they don’t have enough time to patrol for drunken drivers.

Now, the Craig Police Dep-artment and the Moffat Coun-ty Sheriff’s Office are applying for a joint grant that might change that.

“Because of the calls for service and officers being busy, we haven’t had time to be proactive in every aspect of traffic enforcement,” said Capt. Jerry DeLong of the Craig Police Department.

The agencies are applying for $32,750 from the Colorado Department of Trans-portation’s office of transportation safety. If approved, the grant would pay for overtime hours for law enforcement officers to patrol for drivers who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during peak days and hours, such as holidays and weekends. It also would cover costs of four digital in-car video cameras and funds for anti-drinking and driving educational campaigns. Law enforcement received a similar grant in 2002, DeLong said. The grant would go into effect Jan. 1 and be used throughout the year.

Craig police recorded 1,023 accidents between Jan. 1, 2003, and June 30 of this year. Of those, 29 involved drugs or alcohol.

Since 2001, calls for service at the Craig Police Department have increased by more than 4,000. A call includes any report called in by a resident that police follow up on. Craig police reported 14,958 calls for service in 2004, according to the department’s annual report. The department recorded 53 driving under the influence violations in 2003 and 2004.

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DeLong said it’s hard to measure the rate of drunken driving on area roads as compared to other parts of the state.

“Getting the grant will give us the opportunity to see if we have a problem,” DeLong said.

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031.

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