With a $142,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, the Santa Barbara County Probation Department is funding a new position to keep close tabs on felony and repeat DUI offenders who are on probation.
According to a prepared statement from Office of Traffic Safety Director Rhonda Craft, the grant was awarded to the Probation Department in order to help “create a culture of traffic safety across Santa Barbara County and the state.”
The new Deputy Probation Officer will “intensely monitor” drivers on probation for the most severe DUI convictions (repeat offenders who were charged with felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI) to ensure they are keeping up with their court-ordered treatment and education programs, according to a press release from the Santa Barbara County Probation Department.
The new officer will also give random drug and alcohol tests to those on probation and conduct random searches of their homes in a comprehensive effort to reduce drunk driving crashes, which in 2013 killed 8 people and injured 233 in Santa Barbara County, the press release said.
In a prepared statement, Santa Barbara County Probation Chief Guadalupe Rabago said the new officer will hold repeat DUI offenders “accountable for their bad decisions and actions in an effort to protect and make Santa Barbara County a safer community.”