Ignition interlock

A disconnected ignition interlock (a Breathalyzer required to start a vehicle) sits on top of a rum bottle in a suspect’s vehicle in 2013. Both Graham County Sheriff’s Office and Thatcher Police received grants from Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road.

GRAHAM COUNTY — The Thatcher Police Department and Graham County Sheriff’s Office each received grants from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to enhance DUI and traffic enforcement.

An Oct. 29 press release from the Thatcher Police Department said the department received two grants for fiscal year 2020, totaling $18,000. The first grant was for $10,000 and will be used to fund officers’ overtime and employee-related expenses to enhance DUI enforcement, holiday DUI task force participation and education throughout the town of Thatcher. The second grant, for $8,000, will be used for officers’ overtime and employee-related expenses to enhance selective traffic enforcement and education throughout the Town of Thatcher.

“These grants will allow the Thatcher Police Department the opportunity to deploy officers alongside other local agencies with the Eastern Arizona DUI Task Force for holiday enforcement efforts and other selected traffic enforcement details. It will also provide the resources necessary to continue our youth education programs in the schools about the dangers of DUI and traffic safety issues,” Thatcher Police Chief Shaffen Woods said in the release.

“We are very excited to have received these grants. We look forward to the opportunity to proactively impact the problems of DUI and other traffic safety issues in our community. We would like to thank the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for their continued support and dedication to the safety of our citizens.”

The Sheriff’s Office received fiscal year 2019 grants in the amount of $12,286 for DUI enforcement overtime and $11,719 for traffic enforcement.

“We are very thankful for our partnership with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety as well as the other local agencies that make up the Eastern Arizona DUI Task Force,” Sheriff P.J. Allred said. “These funds greatly enhance our abilities to increase public safety on our streets and highways. We would also like to remind you not to drink and drive, and always buckle up.”

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