San Rafael, CA -- Individuals arrested for DUI in Marin County, especially repeat offenders and those involved in fatal or injury crashes, can expect to face highly trained, specialized prosecutors, thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
The $286,378 grant to the Marin County District Attorney's Office will support a Vertical Prosecution team that will handle cases from arrest though sentencing.
"A repeat DUI offender is a ticking time bomb that can explode without warning and tragically inflict irreversible loss and suffering on totally innocent victims," says Marin County District Attorney Edward Berberian. "These victims invariably have no idea or warning of their danger. Strong intervention needs to occur. Once a multiple DUI offender is identified, the prosecution efforts need to be effective and forceful.
"These grant funds enable my office to target the offender and build by effective law enforcement follow-up investigations strong cases that can provide a jury and judge with the evidence they need to assure that not only a fair conviction is obtained but that the most appropriate sentencing conditions are put in place. Without these supplemental resources, the community as a whole suffers."
The prosecution team will handle cases throughout each step of the criminal justice process, prosecuting both alcohol and drug-impaired driving cases. In fatal and major injury DUI vehicle collisions, members of the team may even go to the crash scene to be part of the investigation.
Prosecution team members will work with the State's Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program to increase the capabilities of the team and office by obtaining and delivering specialized training, including training in the emerging problem of drug-impaired driving. Team members will share information with peers and law enforcement personnel throughout the county and across the state. The purpose of the program is to prevent impaired driving and reduce alcohol and drug-impaired traffic fatalities and injuries.
Funding for the program comes from a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.