State grants have allowed two local law enforcement agencies to buy vehicles to aid in drunken-driving enforcement.

The Oro Valley Police Department used a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to buy a 2013 DUI Chevrolet Tahoe “phlebotomy van,” which is equipped with everything officers need to take blood samples from drivers suspected of being impaired, Lt. Kara Riley, spokeswoman for the OVPD, said in a news release.

The van, which cost $119,000, “will be deployed regularly with the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force to provide regional support to participating police departments,” Riley said. “This van will create efficiencies by enabling investigating officers and suspects to remain on scene for an investigative blood draw, eliminating the need to drive to an area hospital.”

The van also will be on display during public-safety events to promote education and awareness of driving under the influence.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department used its $8,000 in grant money to buy a trailer officers will use to transport signs, traffic cones and other equipment to and from DUI sobriety checkpoints, Deputy Tracy Suitt, spokesman for the department, said in a news release.

“In addition, the DUI trailer has graphics displaying a message for the citizens of Pima County,” he said. “We are hoping that this message will remind people to think about the grave dangers of driving impaired. Through education and intervention, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department hopes to reduce alcohol-related crashes and impaired driving on our streets.”

Kimberly Matas

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