(Press Release) District Attorney Elizabeth A. Egan announced Thursday that the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, awarded the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office a one-year $625,000 grant to fund the Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program. The program will investigate and prosecute alcohol and drug-impaired driving cases from arrest through sentencing.
Prosecution team members will work with the State’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program to obtain and deliver specialized training, simultaneously increasing the skills of the team and office. The training will include the emerging problem of drug-impaired driving. Team members will share information with peers and law enforcement personnel throughout the county and across the state.
The purpose of the program is to prevent impaired driving and reduce alcohol and drug-impaired traffic fatalities and injuries.
As of October 1, 2012, the District Attorney’s Office has filed 5,238 DUI related cases resulting in 11 fatalities and 193 people being injured. In 2011, there were 6,258 total DUI related cases filed with 294 people injured and 10 fatalities.
“DUI can be a violent, tragic crime,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “This special team will help insure that no one falls through the cracks, and that the worst-of-the-worst offenders face a highly skilled, dedicated prosecutor.”
Egan stated, “With this grant, we will also have the opportunity to engage in a proactive approach with local law enforcement leaders, school districts, the courts and community organizations to raise awareness of devastating consequences of driving while impaired.”