SAN BERNARDINO – In order to curb drunk driving under the influence the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office was awarded a special DUI prosecution grant. The grant of $207,924, which was funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will fund a Vertical Prosecution team that will work on cases from start to finish.
“Those arrested for DUI in San Bernardino 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,” San Bernardino County District Attorney officials said. District Attorney’s officials said that the grant will aid the office in handling each step of each case. In a major injury or fatal DUI collisions, members of the team may respond to the crash scene in order to be part of the investigation process. Through 2015-2016 the California Office of Traffic Safety grant, the vertical prosecution team filed 137 felony and misdemeanor cases for driving under the influence.
“I will always remember CHP Officer Ruben Rios who lost his life to a drunk driver while on duty protecting the public,” said District Attorney Michael Ramos. “Officer Rios had spent so much of his time as an officer educating the community about the dangers of drinking and driving. While we can’t say or do anything to bring him back, we can carry on with the work that was near and dear to his heart. With this grant, we will be able to add more resources to protect our citizens and ultimately hold those who decide to drink and drive responsible for their actions.”
In 2013 there were 95 deaths and 1375 serious injuries as a result of DUI crashes in San Bernardino County alone. The program is aiming to prevent impaired driving and reduce alcohol and/or drug-impaired fatalities and injuries officials said. “When there is a trained, seasoned and committed team working serious DUI cases, prosecutors get the positive results needed,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “The Office of Traffic Safety and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office will be working together to help keep the streets and highways safe across San Bernardino County and the state.”
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