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The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office a $250,141 grant to continue 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 this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The vertical prosecution team consists of a specialized prosecutor and an investigator who are highly trained to handle alcohol and/or drug-impaired driving cases throughout each step of the criminal justice process. Their expertise includes collision reconstruction, cell phone and technological knowledge, an understanding of the physiological effects drugs and alcohol have on the body as well as sentencing laws unique to DUI crimes.
In the past year, this specialized team convicted 24 defendants in cases involving attempted murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with intoxication, vehicular manslaughter with intoxication and DUI with great bodily injury. In total, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office successfully prosecuted 236 felony and 4,039 misdemeanor cases of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Prosecution team members will work with the California Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Training Network to expand knowledge and resources within the office through specialized training they pass on to other prosecutors. This includes emerging issues like drug-impaired driving after California’s legalization of marijuana. They will also share information with peers and law enforcement throughout the county and state.
“Vertical prosecution teams working serious DUI cases get the positive results needed,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the Office of Traffic Safety, will be working to help keep the streets across Sacramento County safe for everyone.”
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert states, “Our ongoing partnership with OTS will allow us to continue prevention efforts while aggressively prosecuting the most egregious DUI offenders. I commend OTS for its support of DUI enforcement across the county and state, and for raising awareness about the consequences of alcohol as well as prescription medication and marijuana DUI impairment.”
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