San Rafael, CA – Those suspected of and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Marin County can expect to face highly trained, specialized prosecutors, thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety(OTS).
The $195,169.00 grant to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office will fund a Vertical Prosecution team that will manage and prosecute DUI cases.“The DUI Vertical Prosecution Grant has provided the Marin County District Attorney’s Office with necessary financial means to maintain an attorney who vertically prosecutes repeat DUI offenders,” said Edward Berberian, Marin County District Attorney. “This focus on the successful prosecution of serial DUI drivers allows us to help keep Marin highways and streets safe for all drivers and pedestrians. It also helps us to maintain consistent policies and practices within our office and focuses our resources on those individuals who pose the greatest risk of harm on our roadways.”
Funding from this DUI Prosecution Grant will aid the Marin County District Attorney’s Office in handling cases throughout each step of the criminal process, prosecuting both alcohol and drug-impaired driving cases. Prosecution team members will work with the State’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program to expand knowledge and resources in the emerging problem of drug-impaired driving
In the past year under the 2017-2018 OTS grant (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018), the vertical prosecution team filed 468 felony and misdemeanor cases of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The office as a whole filed 1,205 DUI cases.
The purpose of the program is to prevent impaired driving and reduce alcohol and drug-impaired traffic deaths and injuries. In 2015, there were 3 deaths and 126 serious injuries as a result of DUI crashes in Marin County.
In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Marin County District Attorney’s Office supports efforts from OTS reminding the public that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI arrest and conviction.
“Vertical prosecution teams help keep streets across Marin County safe by taking people off the road who ignore the law and drive impaired,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “Driving under the influence is a crime that will not be tolerated. Funding the prosecution of individuals who put lives at risk is one of many ways we are working to educate the public on the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence.”
Funding for this vertical prosecution program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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