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The state of California recently awarded the Visalia police department nearly $400,000 in grants to help bolster the department's DUI enforcement, as well as the public's awareness of drunk driving.

The first grant will help create more public awareness campaigns, as well as fund certain initiatives that may not even involve drunk driving. For example, the grant makes concessions for bicycle accidents and child seat belt enforcement. The second grant is meant to fund an initiative called "Avoid the 18," which refers to the 18 precincts that will be involved in the bolstered DUI enforcement.

What the bolstered enforcement will involve is increased DUI checkpoints, more DUI saturation patrols and a focus on repeat DUI offenders.

Knowing all of this, where does this leave the city of Visalia? Well, it's clear that more police officers will be out looking for people who are driving under the influence of alcohol. That doesn't necessarily mean that the DUI stops that will be made will be lawful or right, nor does it mean that the rights of the people who are accused of drunk driving under these new initiatives are respected.

If you are accused of a drunk driving offense in Visalia, there is a lot on the line for you. Your freedom and well-being could be at risk, and you should not just let that go without a fight. You need legal representation during this time so that you can minimize the damage involved in your case, or beat the charges outright.

Source: Visalia Times-Delta, "Grants awarded for DUI and traffic enforcement," Quinn Robinson, Oct. 14, 2015

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