The efforts to keep drunk drivers off area roads are getting a boost from a grant awarded to the Stanislaus County Probation Department.The grant of $47,860 from the California Office of Traffic Safety will allow for greater monitoring and supervision of convicted drunk drivers, said Jerry Powers, the chief probation officer for Stanislaus County.“Continued funding for this program will allow our department to further deter adult probationers from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and provide a higher level of community safety,” Powers said.Specifically, the probation department will use the grant to conduct unannounced home searches, random alcohol and drug testing and monitoring to ensure compliance with court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs. The Stanislaus County Probation Department will also collaborate with other local law enforcement agencies to conduct DUI/Driver license checkpoints, surveillance and apprehension of offenders who drive without a license and warrant service operations targeting individuals who fail to make court appearances after DUI arrests.Drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. In 2009, over 10,839 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. California data for 2009 shows that 950 people died in alcohol impaired collisions, which is a 7.6 percent reduction in deaths from 2008. “Everyone in California should be heartened by these figures,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “But as encouraging as this is, we can’t let up on the efforts to promote and enforce traffic safety. Far too many are still losing their lives or being severely injured on our roadways.”To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.