The San Jose Police Department and Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office have both received state grants that will fund a year's worth of traffic safety measures.
The California Office of Traffic Safety grants worth $180,000 each were given to the departments to fund traffic safety programs that enforce seatbelt, DUI, and other traffic safety laws.
"A lot of that grant is basically for DUI enforcement and to teach our officers techniques on how to investigate drunk driving," said Officer Albert Morales of the San Jose Police Department.
The Sheriff's office said that the grant will be used for similar purposes at their office and go towards funding the "Avoid the 13" campaign, which focuses on drunk driving prevention.
Morales said that the grant will come in handy with the holiday season approaching -- a time of year when people may be more likely to drive under the influence.
According to the police department, deaths involving drunk driving account for almost 30 percent of traffic fatalities
"It's also not coming out of our budget, so it allows us to put more officers on the street," Morales said.
Although traffic deaths statewide dropped by almost 39 percent between 2006 and 2010, state and federal statistics show a small rise in traffic deaths in 2011, police said.
Chief Chris More said in a statement that he was "very pleased" about the grant.
--Bay City News Service