New! Driving Under the Influence: Spotlight: California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)- Justice Journal Episode 56

Description: Discussion with longtime driving under the influence (DUI) prevention partner the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) about how the organization works to protect the safety of all those on our highways and roads as well as pedestrians.

Show Notes:  Guest Deputy Director of Marketing & Public Affairs Tim Weisberg from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and Lead Deputy District Attorney Gregory Hayes introduce themselves – their backgrounds and current roles.

Weisberg describes his past professional background and his current role managing all OTS marketing, media campaigns and outreach programs.

Hayes explains his past professional background and current role related to DUI cases and the DUI/DUID prosecution and Education Outreach program.  Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Weisberg provides background on OTS – its mission, history and how it’s working to keep people safe on our roads and highways.  He also details what types of organizations OTS most often partners with and how they support them.  One of the ways OTS supports organizations is through grants.

Host, Shelly Orio, discusses how OTS has supported the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office for many years – with grants totaling nearly $8.75 million since 2010. These grants have funded the prosecution of DUI/DUID cases, training for law enforcement officers on DUI/DUID investigations, prevention programs, Crime Lab purchases of specialized equipment to test for certain drugs, many new breath alcohol testing devices and an instrument to analyze alcohol (gas) in blood samples.  OTS grants have also funded Crime Lab staff overtime costs to provide on-site assistance at DUI checkpoints.

Hayes shares his experience facilitating the OTS grant, how he has seen these grant dollars put into action and the impact the grant work has had on prosecutions and student education.

Weisberg explains the other types of grants OTS funds and for what types of organizations as well as how organizations can apply for OTS grants.

Weisberg and Hayes talk about new issues and challenges with DUI/DUID trends.  They both agree driving under the influence of drugs is the most pressing challenge.  Hayes adds that the legalization of marijuana also poses challenges to cases of driving under the influence of marijuana.  Weisberg then explains how OTS sets mission priorities and counter measures to different issues impacting road safety.

Weisberg shares what outreach OTS is currently conducting -including PSA campaigns and safety programs such as Go Safely. He also shares other resources available through OTS on driving safety information.

Hayes and Weisberg close by giving their key takeaways from this discussion.


OTS on social media Facebook @CaliforniaOTS and Instagram and Twitter @ots_ca.

Tags – Justice Journal Podcast, Driving Under the Influence, DUI, DUID, Office of Traffic Safety, OTS, Arrive Alive CA, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.