|For Immediate Release
November 4, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA RECEIVES $290,000 STATE GRANT TO INCREASE THE FIGHT AGAINST DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS CASES
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) has received a $292,882 State grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to address the growing problem of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs in Orange County. This is the second OTS grant awarded to OCDA in an effort to improve detection and prosecution of alcohol and drug-related DUI cases.
In 2005, the OCDA received a $691,631 two-year grant from OTS to facilitate the prosecution of DUI cases by allowing a deputy district attorney and clerical support staff to focus exclusively on DUI cases.
In 2008, the OCDA created the first Vehicular Homicide Team of the Homicide Unit in the State of California, with specialized prosecutors and Investigators to vertically prosecute vehicle death cases. Since the Team was formed, the OCDA has obtained 64 vehicular death convictions. The OCDA has been involved in outreach efforts giving presentations to college sororities and fraternities, and high school and elementary students to educate young drivers about the dangers of alcohol and drug impaired driving since at least half of the vehicular death defendants and at least 15 of the victims have been under the age of 25.
The new OTS grant will fund a multi-agency effort against DUI drug cases. The OCDA is partnering with the 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.
In driving under the influence of alcohol cases, officers can observe objective signs of intoxication including the emission of an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and red and watery eyes. They can also test the blood alcohol content of the driver at the scene.
In driving under the influence of illegal, illicit or prescription drugs cases, the driver displays different signs of intoxication than alcohol. Law enforcement needs further expertise to detect and convict drug-related DUI drivers. The training provided by this grant will focus on the detection, evaluation and prosecution of driving under the influence.