Grant Designed to Save Lives Approved

November 8, 2011 | 1:59pm

The San Diego County Probation Department has the green light to accept a new traffic safety grant for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries resulting from driving under the influence (DUI). The $514,000 grant awarded by the State Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) will help the County’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety.

Special Probation supervision measures will target high-risk, felony and repeat DUI offenders. The Probation Department will also work with other local law enforcement agencies on anti-DUI efforts as part of an on-going commitment to keep our roadways safe through both enforcement and education.

“The San Diego County Probation Department is committed to doing all it can to stop drunk driving,” said Mack Jenkins, Chief Probation Officer, San Diego County Probation Department. “The Board of Supervisors’ approval of the grant today will go a long way toward improving road safety and will no doubt save lives as we work to hold DUI offenders accountable.”  

Traffic deaths from all causes declined in California by 11.9 percent, down from 3,081 killed in 2009 to 2,715 in 2010. While alcohol-impaired deaths saw a sharp decline last year, DUI deaths are responsible for more than 30 percent of traffic fatalities.

This grant will assist efforts to deal with worst-of-the-worst, high risk DUI offenders that pose a danger to our communities. DUI offenders will be subject to monitoring of their treatment and DUI program participation, mandatory office visits, unannounced home searches, and random alcohol/drug testing to confirm compliance with court-ordered terms of probation.

“Thanks to the dedicated hard work of agencies like the San Diego County Probation Department, California has the fewest traffic fatalities since 1944,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. “While this is good news, we know that only by keeping the pressure on through enforcement and public awareness can we hope to sustain these declines and save lives.”

“We are on the right path with declining fatalities,” said Murphy. “We have to stick to that path so that some day we can reach the vision we all share: toward zero deaths, every one counts.”

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.