Felony and repeat misdemeanor DUI (driving under the influence) offenders are overrepresented in traffic crashes involving alcohol or other drugs, often with tragic results. A $142,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to the Santa Barbara County Probation Department will be making sure that these worst-of-the-worst offenders are complying with all court orders.
Santa Barbara County Probation Chief Guadalupe Rabago stated, “Santa Barbara County Probation Department is pleased to be awarded this grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. This assistance will help focus on this national problem at a local level and address it more intensively than available with existing resources. Through Specialized Intensive Probation Supervision and strong partnership with other agencies, Probation strives to reduce and eliminate instances of drunk driving. Those not in compliance with the court orders will be held accountable for their bad decisions and actions in an effort to protect and make Santa Barbara County a safer community.”
The grant will fund a Deputy Probation Officer to intensely monitor drivers on probation for felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions. Supervision for these high-risk offenders will include unannounced home searches, random alcohol and drug testing, and monitoring to ensure compliance with court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs.
The Intensive Probation Supervision for High-Risk Felony and Repeat DUI Offenders grant is aimed at reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the county. In 2013, 8 were killed and 233 injured in such crashes in Santa Barbara 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 Santa Barbara County Probation Department want to work with everyone to create a culture of traffic safety across Santa Barbara County and the state.”
Funding for the grant is from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.