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By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

October 26, 2018 (San Diego) - The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded San Diego County Probation a $382,000 grant to help ensure that high-risk, repeat drunk or drugged driving offenders with suspended or revoked licenses are complying with all court orders.

“This grant funding allows us to intensely supervise and monitor treatment for these high-risk offenders to make sure they are attending DUI educational programs and following other restrictions and requirements determined by a judge,” said Chief Probation Officer Adolfo Gonzales. “Our highest goal is to promote safe roadways for every driver and pedestrian while successfully rehabilitating these men and women so that they are no longer a risk to themselves or to the community.”

The grant pays for two of the nine officers in the San Diego County Probation DUI enforcement unit who monitor drivers on probation for felony DUI convictions.

The funding is also used to offset overtime pay for officers who work non-traditional hours conducting compliance checks in the evenings and during the holidays. In addition, these officers participate in collaborative operations with local police agencies. These special operations may include probation sweeps where officers go out in search of DUI offenders with outstanding arrest warrants for failing to show up to a court hearing or violating the terms of their probation, or court compliance where officers stop those who choose to drive with a suspended or revoked license as they leave the court.

The objective of the DUI grant is to reduce the number of people killed and injured in alcohol- and drug-related motor vehicle accidents in San Diego County. In 2015, 78 people were killed, and 1,704 people injured in such crashes in San Diego County.

“Intensive supervision of DUI offenders helps ensure that these offenders are not a risk to themselves or others,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “Our coordinated effort with the San Diego County Probation Department to keep a close eye on DUI offenders reduces their chance of reoffending, making roadways safer for everyone.”

While alcohol remains the worst culprit for DUI crashes, San Diego County Probation supports efforts from OTS that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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