Those arrested for driving under the influence in Kern 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 $472,272.00 grant to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office will fund a Vertical Prosecution team that Will Work cases from arrest through sentencing.
District Attorney Lisa S. Green observed, “This is a crime that is entirely preventable, if those who drink would simply not get behind the wheel of a car. In the last three years, we have prosecuted over 400 individuals who committed felony DUI. Our prosecutors have stood alongside dozens of families whose loved ones were killed by an impaired driver. We are committed to ensuring that those who endanger others on the roads of Kern County will be held accountable.”
Prosecution team members will Work with the State’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program to increase the capabilities of the team and the 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. Since 2011, there has been an increase of second degree murder prosecutions caused by impaired drivers. This is due to the continued commitment of the District Attorney in dedicating resources to prosecuting these cases.
Funding for the program cornes from a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.