Andrea Wilkinson/Nevada Sagebrush
Students cross the street at North Virginia Street on Artemesia Way on Monday, Feb. 5. UNRPD was granted funds for projects like pedestrian safety.

The University of Nevada, Reno Police Services was awarded two grants — totaling $33,000 — from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety to address traffic problems around the university.

The Impaired Drivers, Walkers and Riders Grant gives UNR Police Services $21,000 to address alcohol-related traffic issues. This includes people driving under the influence, impaired walking and underage drinking.

This fund makes it so officers can be paid for the overtime work it takes to battle alcohol and impaired travel. It also will be used to buy supplies necessary for the enforcement of sober transportation — including portable breathalyzers and more.

“Thankfully, we don’t have a high number of injuries or fatalities within our jurisdiction,” director of University Police Services Adam Garcia said. “We believe in pro-active enforcement, and cooperative enforcement to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff as they navigate the roadways surrounding university properties. And, we know that alcohol plays a role in a lot of unsafe behaviors, including driving and walking while impaired.”

The second grant — worth $12,000 — is for Joining Forces, a statewide safety program. It encourages multiple agencies to work together to combat specific issues and violations during a certain amount of time. These issues include speeding, distracted driving, use of seat belts, child seats and pedestrian safety.

Drinking and driving caused more than 75 deaths on Nevada roadways in 2016. The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety reported that 66 vehicle crashes resulted in 77 deaths that were alcohol-related. Nationally, there were 10,497 fatalities due to drunk driving in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Laws about driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances can vary from state to state, but here are some of the laws in Nevada.

The blood alcohol concentration limit in the state of Nevada is .08 percent. However, the Illegal Per Se law says that even if a driver is under the legal limit, they can still be arrested or cited for having a lower amount in their system.

The Implied Consent Law says that if a driver decides to get behind the wheel while under the influence, they have implied consent to take a sobriety test. If they do not comply, they can be arrested by law enforcement officials.

Blood alcohol concentration only applies to alcohol, but the same laws apply to other substances.

“If any detectable amount of an illegal substance is found, you’ll receive at least the same penalties as you would for alcohol, and perhaps even more,” says the DMV website.

In addition to being illegal to drive while under the influence, it is also illegal to drive and have an open alcoholic beverage anywhere in the vehicle.

Additional information about using alcohol and other substances while driving can be found on the Nevada DMV website.

Madeline Purdue can be reached at mpurdue@sagebrush.unr and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.