District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced that a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) will enable the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office to continue a specialized team to prosecute alcohol and drug-impaired driving cases. The $234,032 is for a one-year period from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020.
District Attorney Ravitch noted, “All available resources, from education to prosecution, need to be employed to combat the prevalence of impaired driving in our community. The OTS grant helps bridge the gap in resources needed to effectively prosecute those who engage in this behavior.”
Grant funding will be used to support a prosecution program focused solely on driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drug cases, provide training for prosecutors and investigators through California’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program, and coordinate with law enforcement to handle all steps of the criminal process.
This is the eighth year the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office has received funding from the OTS for a DUI prosecution program. In 2018, the specialized prosecution team filed 1,726 DUI cases, including 111 DUI drug cases and 16 DUI combined alcohol and drug cases. The office as a whole filed 2,683 DUI cases.
The purpose of the program is to prevent and reduce alcohol and drug-impaired traffic deaths and injuries. In 2018, there were nine deaths and 398 injured victims as a result of DUI crashes in Sonoma County.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.