|For Immediate Release
March 8, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA ATTORNEYS AND INVESTIGATOR HONORED BY MADD FOR EXCEPTIONAL PROSECUTION OF DRUNKEN DRIVING CASES
SANTA ANA – The Orange County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) honored 10 Orange County deputy district attorneys and an Investigator today for their effort in prosecuting driving under the influence (DUI) cases. MADD hosted the 25th Annual Law Enforcement and Prosecutor Recognition Luncheon today, March 8, 2012, to honor Orange County prosecutors and police officers for their outstanding contributions to the prosecution of DUI cases.
At the luncheon, 10 Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) prosecutors and one OCDA Investigator were recognized for their assistance providing support to victims and their families and diligent efforts in criminal prosecution. Each was nominated by their OCDA supervisor or a MADD victim advocate. The recipients were verbally recognized and received a framed certificate at the luncheon.
The OCDA honorees included Senior Deputy District Attorney Alison Gyves and Deputy District Attorneys Paul Brar, Kristen Chenoweth, Lexie Elliot, Nancy Hayashida, Brad Schoenleben, Joel Stone, Bobby Taghavi, Daniel Varon and Elizabeth Zuber. OCDA Investigator Wes Vandiver received the Individual Diamond Service Award.
Due to the efforts of OCDA staff, defendants in alcohol-related DUI cases have faced charges ranging from felony driving under the influence causing great bodily injury to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with prior convictions. The efforts of the prosecution resulted in the defendants’ convictions with sentences as high as 15 years to life in state prison.
Schoenleben and Zuber were also featured as special presenters at the luncheon to discuss a $292,882 State grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) received by the OCDA in November 2011 to address the growing problem of drug-related DUIs in Orange County. This grant funds a multi-agency partnership between the OCDA, California Highway Patrol and Fullerton Police Department to provide 100 officers from all Orange County law enforcement agencies with specialized training to enhance their abilities to detect and arrest drivers under the influence of drugs.
MADD is a nationwide, non-profit organization that works to stop drunken driving, support victims, survivors, and families affected by drunken driving, and prevent underage drinking. The Orange County Chapter of MADD was formed in 1981 and offers services and education to the local community, including youth programs, victim services, and special events. MADD works closely with Orange County law enforcement agencies to support the prosecution and apprehension of those who put the public at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol.