From the Contra Costa County Probation Department:
Martinez, Calif. –The Contra Costa County Probation Department is the recipient of a one-year, $376,241 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to monitor high-risk probationers who have repeated convictions for driving under the influence (DUI). Currently, the Probation Department is supervising 218 DUI probation clients.
Grant funding will be used to make sure DUI probation clients are following the court ordered terms of their probation, including home, work and office visits, alcohol testing and warrant service operations.
In addition, funding will be used to develop “Hot Sheets” that identify repeat DUI probation clients to local law enforcement agencies. The funds will also be utilized to assist Probation in working with Court officials to establish probation orders for the DUI clients being placed on probation.
This grant is aimed at reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol-related collisions as well as lower DUI recidivism rates.
“Supervision programs help make sure DUI offenders are held accountable for their actions and not putting others at risk,” said OTS Director Barbara Rooney. “Our coordinated effort with the Contra Costa County Probation Department reduces the chances of probationers re-offending.”
The ongoing partnership between the Contra Costa County Probation Department and the Office of Traffic Safety has spanned more than 15 years. “The support and assistance provided by OTS, coupled with strong working relationships with state and local law enforcement agencies, have allowed the Probation Department to closely monitor and rehabilitate our clients,” said Chief Probation Officer, Esa Ehmen-Krause, “Reducing the traumatic impact that impaired driving causes across our community contributes to improving public safety.”
The grant will fund Probation Department personnel to monitor drivers on Probation for felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions, including conducting unannounced fourth amendment waiver home searches, random alcohol and drug testing and ensuring those on probation are attending court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs. It will also fund the continued training of the Probation Department personnel in an effort to keep up with current trends and equipment use.
While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, Contra Costa County Probation supports OTS in its statement, “DUI just doesn’t mean booze.” Prescription medications and marijuana can be impairing by themselves, but also in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.