Felony and ‘repeat’ misdemeanor DUI offenders are over represented in traffic crashes involving alcohol and other drugs, often with tragic results. A $145,000 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 funding will allow our Department to provide DUI offenders that present the highest risk to the community with enhanced supervision, including frequent testing, closer compliance monitoring of their treatment program and increased home, office, and field contacts. Through this assistance and strong partnerships with other agencies, those not in compliance will be held accountable for their actions in an effort to prevent re-arrest on new DUI charges, ultimately enhancing community safety in Santa Barbara County.”
The grant will fund Probation Department officials to intensely monitor drivers on probation for felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions. Supervision for these high-risk offenders includes:
Developing and/or maintaining a “Hot Sheet” program to notify patrol and traffic officers to be on the lookout for identified repeat DUI offenders with a suspended or revoked license as a result of DUI convictions
Increasing the percentage of DUI probationers in compliance with court-ordered probation
Conducting unannounced home searches
Conducting random alcohol and drug testing
Using special monitoring to ensure compliance with court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs
This grant puts special focus on high-risk repeat DUI offenders and is aimed at reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the County, especially by DUI probationers. In 2013, 8 were killed and 304 injured in such crashes in Santa Barbara County.
“Complying with probation orders is the first and most necessary step to keep these offenders from being a danger to themselves or others in the future,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “The Office of Traffic Safety and the Santa Barbara County Probation Department will be working together to help keep the streets and highways safe 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.
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