RIVERSIDE – Drivers arrested in Riverside County on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs will continue facing highly specialized prosecutors funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and approved by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
The $430,000 grant to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office continues to fund a vertical prosecution team that will handle misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases from arrest all the way through sentencing. The new grant continues to cover two deputy district attorneys.
While alcohol remains the primary cause in DUI crashes, the DA’s Office continues to support the effort from the state Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) that aims to drive home awareness that DUI doesn’t just mean alcohol. Prescription medications and marijuana can, by themselves or in combination with alcohol, impair drivers resulting in a DUI arrest.
Under the grant, prosecution team members will work with the state’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Training Network to expand knowledge and resources in the office by obtaining and delivering specialized training, including 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.
“Experience and knowledge are critical for prosecutors to build successful impaired driving cases,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “This program provides resources, tools and a strong training network for DUI prosecution teams that hold people who drive under the influence accountable for their actions.”
The grant was unanimously approved by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 5, 2021, in a resolution allowing the DA’s Office to continue running the program for two years.
The grant award period runs from Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Administration.
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