The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office a $702,522 grant for the “Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program,” which focuses on driving under the influence (DUI) cases involving repeat offenders and crashes resulting in death or serious injury.
Funding for the program comes from a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The vertical prosecution team consists of two specialized prosecutors and an investigator who are highly trained to handle alcohol and/or drug-impaired driving cases throughout each step of the criminal justice process. In fatal and major injury DUI vehicle collisions, members of the team may respond to the crash scene to be part of the investigation.
The team’s expertise includes collision reconstruction, cell phone and technological knowledge, an understanding of the physiological effects drugs and alcohol have on the body, and sentencing laws unique to DUI crimes.
In the past year, 14 defendants were convicted in cases involving second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and DUI with great bodily injury. In addition, 252 felony and 4,888 misdemeanor cases of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs were successfully prosecuted.
“When there is a trained, seasoned and committed team working serious DUI cases, prosecutors get the positive results needed,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “The Office of Traffic Safety and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office will be working together to help keep the streets and highways safe across Sacramento County and the state.”
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert states, “The ongoing partnership we have with OTS allows us to aggressively prosecute the most dangerous DUI offenders who cause alcohol and drug-impaired fatalities and injuries. It also allows us to provide victims and victims’ families with the specialized attention of one dedicated prosecutor throughout the court process as well as support from our victim advocates.”
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