Traffic collisions that result from drunk or drugged driving are some of the most preventable, yet prevalent tragedies in America. With yearly fatalities from DUI-related crashes in the thousands for the nation and in the hundreds for California, the Los Angeles County Probation Department is making an effort to crack down on impaired drivers, especially repeat offenders.
Felons and repeat misdemeanor DUI offenders are over represented in the statistics. By means of a new traffic safety grant, the Probation Department will make sure that the worst offenders comply with all court orders. The $268,000 grant was awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Public safety is our number one priority at Los Angeles County Probation,” says Chief Probation Officer, Jerry Powers. “We are glad to play an instrumental role in helping the traffic and safety officers provide essential services to discourage driving while under the influence.”
The grant will enable officers to keep an eye on individuals who are on probation for felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions. Supervision for these high-risk offenders will include unannounced home searches, random alcohol and drug testing and monitoring to ensure compliance with court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs.
The Intensive Probation Supervision for High-Risk Felony and Repeat DUI Offenders Grant is aimed at reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the county. In 2010, 216 were killed and 6,397 injured in such crashes in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County Probation Department will also collaborate with other local law enforcement agencies to conduct DUI/Driver license checkpoints and warrant service operations targeting individuals who fail to make court appearances after DUI arrests.
“California’s DUI death totals dropped significantly for five years,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “But as the economy improves and people have more to celebrate, we don’t want those figures to go back up. An effective way to combat that is through insuring these serious DUI offenders aren’t on a path back to drunk or drugged driving.”