San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott announced Monday that the city will use a $255,850 grant to fund a team of specialized prosecutors to handle cases involving drug-impaired drivers.
The City Attorney’s Office will use the renewed Drug DUI Prosecution Grant to handle cases of both drug-impaired and drug/alcohol-impaired driving, from arrest through conviction and sentencing. The state Office of Traffic Safety administers the grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Driving under the influence of drugs can have devastating effects on San Diego drivers and their families,” Elliott said. “Our city continues to see DUI cases involving the misuse of prescription drugs, marijuana and illegal drugs, often in combination with alcohol. This grant allows our highly specialized prosecution team to work closely with law enforcement to hold accountable those who endanger our community.”
Specialized prosecutors working under the previous grant from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30 of this year filed 228 misdemeanor cases of drug-impaired and drug/alcohol-impaired driving while the City Attorney’s Office filed a total of 3,110 impaired driving cases during that time. The office has received grant funding for drug DUI prosecutions since the fall of 2014.
Officials warn that use of prescription drugs and/or marijuana, especially in conjunction with alcohol use, can lead to a DUI arrest and conviction. San Diego County saw a total of 90 deaths and 2,364 serious injuries due to DUI crashes in 2015.
“Driving under the influence is a crime that will not be tolerated,” said Office of Traffic Safety Director Rhonda Craft. “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.”
–City News Service
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