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DA Awarded DUI Prosecution Grant


DA Awarded DUI Prosecution Grant

By Joseph Langenbahn

District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that those arrested for DUI in Sonoma County, especially repeat offenders and those involved in fatal or injury crashes, can expect to face highly trained, specialized prosecutors, thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The $ 421,312 grant to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office will fund a Vertical Prosecution team that will work cases from arrest through sentencing. 

District Attorney Jill Ravitch stated: “We are honored to receive this grant for a fourth straight year. The aggressive prosecution of driving under the influence cases continues to be a top priority for The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office. This funding allows us to work with law enforcement agencies across the county to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries by holding impaired drivers accountable.” 

Funding from this DUI Prosecution Grant will aid the District Attorney’s Office in handling cases throughout each step of the criminal process, prosecuting both alcohol and drug-impaired driving cases. In fatal and major injury DUI vehicle collisions, members of the team may respond to the crash scene to be part of the investigation. 

Prosecution team members will work with the State’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program to expand knowledge and resources in the office by obtaining and delivering specialized training, including training in 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. In 2013 there were 1075 deaths and 16,060 serious injuries as a result of DUI crashes in the Sonoma County.

“Overall, California’s roadways are among the safest in the nation,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “But to meet future mobility, safety, and accessible transportation objectives, we have to work very hard together to reach our common goal – zero deaths on our roadways. The Office of Traffic Safety and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s 

Office want to work with everyone to create a culture of traffic safety across the County of Sonoma and the state.” 

Funding for the program comes from a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.