The Tulare County Probation Department has been awarded a $96,705 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to supervise high-risk, repeat DUI offenders with suspended or revoked licenses. The grant is focused on high-risk repeat DUI offenders with a goal of reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the County.
Tulare County Probation Department Chief Michelle Bonwell stated, “Tulare County Probation Department is committed to protecting the community and enhancing the safety of individuals, whether walking on the streets or behind the wheel of a vehicle. The partnership with the Office of Traffic Safety allows for a dedicated Probation Officer to focus their efforts on those DUI offenders who present the greatest risk to the Central Valley. Driving under the influence has been a critical factor in too many vehicle related deaths. Through education, treatment and enforcement, we believe further tragedies can be prevented. We are pleased to be able to continue our efforts working with high risk DUI offenders to prevent further incidents of drinking and driving.”
The grant provides funding for a Deputy Probation Officer assigned to closely monitor drivers on supervised probation who have a felony or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions. The assigned officer will conduct unannounced home searches and random alcohol and drug testing, as well as special monitoring to ensure compliance with court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs.
The Probation Department supports the effort from OTS that aims to drive awareness that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,” although alcohol remains the main cause of DUI crashes. Prescription medications and marijuana can also impair drivers and may be increasingly combined with alcohol, which can result in a DUI arrest from its own effects.
“Supervision programs help make sure DUI offenders are held accountable for their actions and not putting others at risk,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “Our coordinated effort with the Tulare County Probation Department reduces the chances of probationers re-offending.”
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.