The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office a $269,655 grant for the “DUI/DUID Misdemeanor Prosecution, Education and Outreach” program. This program focuses on reducing the number of persons killed or injured in DUI (driving under the influence) / DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) crashes, through successful prosecution of DUI/DUID cases as well as law enforcement trainings and community outreach.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
With a population of 1.53 million in Sacramento County and over one-half million residing in the City of Sacramento alone, the number of DUI/DUID cases filed by the Sacramento County DA’s Office is significant. In 2019, the Sacramento County DA’s Office filed 470 felony and 4,813 misdemeanor DUI/DUID cases.
This grant funds a full-time prosecutor who will specialize in misdemeanor DUI/DUID cases; mentor newly appointed prosecutors on the successful prosecution of DUI/DUID cases; and provide training to law enforcement agencies on new DUI/DUID laws and investigation techniques.
The need for offender and community prevention outreach is also essential. In 2017, OTS ranked Sacramento County eighth out of 58 counties in victims killed and injured in crashes involving alcohol with a 14% increase from 2014 to 2017 in these cases. The county also went from 50th to 14th worst in the state in people under the age of 21 drinking and causing victims to be killed or injured.
This program includes working to reduce recidivism by providing informational materials to the community as well as those charged with DUI/DUID offenses. It also includes educating youth and adults about DUI/DUID prevention through the DA’s Youth Academy and Citizens Academy among other programs.
“Prevention and accountability are critical to combating DUI,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “Education on the dangers of DUI, along with holding those responsible who drive impaired, help people make good choices and saves lives.”
“The tremendous growth of the downtown Sacramento entertainment district allows for a greater influx of traffic across the county where drivers may be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,” said DA Anne Marie Schubert. “Thanks to our partnership with OTS, we will have a specialized prosecutor working to hold offenders accountable while educating the community, especially our teens, about the risks of driving while impaired by marijuana, prescription drugs, illicit substances as well as alcohol.”