Placer County probation gets new money to target chronic DUI offenders
The Placer County Probation Department says a new $68,000 grant will help its officers keep better track of the area’s worst DUI offenders.
The money was awarded to Placer County by the California Office of Traffic Safety.
“OTS grant funding increases our resources to focus on high-risk DUI offenders in our community,” said Marshall Hopper, chief probation officer. “Our intensive services and direct interventions continuously remind offenders of their court-ordered terms and conditions. These high-risk caseloads hold offenders accountable, making our streets safer.”
Probation officers will use the new funds to monitor felony DUI offenders, as well as individuals on probation for multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions. According to Hopper, enforcement strategies will include unannounced home searches, random alcohol and drug testing and ensuring that probationers attend their court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs.
Hopper added that the grant will also allow county probation officers to work with allied law enforcement agencies on DUI checkpoints.
Officials hope the grant will reduce the number of Placer County residents hurt or killed by DUI collisions. Hopper said that 14 people lost their lives on local roadways in 2010 to suspects driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Another 199 individuals were injured in DUI crashes that same year. Overall, drunk driving was the deadliest crime in America in 2010.
“California’s DUI death totals dropped significantly for five years,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “But as the economy improves and people have more to celebrate, we don’t want those figures to go back up. An effective way to combat that is through ensuring these serious DUI offenders aren’t on a path back to drunk or drugged driving.”
~ Scott Thomas Anderson