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The Los Angeles Times last year reported Gazsi had reduced the number of checkpoints planned for the city — it went from about 20 to 10 — and went with saturation patrols to target and arrest DUI suspects because the patrols require much fewer officers as checkpoints and are more effective in catching violators.

But in an interview last week with us, Gazsi said he would not have cut checkpoints if he had the staff.

Checkpoints send "a very, very strong message" to the public that drunken driving is not acceptable and that if you drive drunk, you're going to get arrested, he said. The educational value "is huge."

All three grants to Petaluma police were awarded for one year, starting Oct. 1, and were from the state Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

<i>(Jim Fremgen, Press Democrat news editor, writes the <a href="http://roadwarrior.blogs.pressdemocrat.com">Road Warrior</a> blog. Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter via @PDRoadWarrior.)</i>