High-Risk DUI Offenders

High-Risk DUI Offenders

The County of Tulare has been awarded an $87,004 grant from California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to the Probation Department, ensuring that high-risk, repeat DUI offenders with suspended or revoked licenses are complying with all court orders.

Tulare County Chief Probation Officer, Michelle Bonwell, said “The intent of the Tulare County DUI Probation Supervision Program is to respond quickly and aggressively to felony DUI offenders through the assignment of a full-time Probation Officer.”

The grant will fund Probation Department personnel to monitor drivers on probation for felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions. Supervision for these high-risk offenders includes:

  • Developing and maintaining a “Hot Sheet” program to notify patrol and traffic officers to be on the lookout for identified repeat DUI offenders with a suspended or revoked license as a result of DUI convictions
  • Increasing the percentage of DUI probationers in compliance with court-ordered probation
  • Conducting unannounced fourth amendment waiver home searches
  • Conducting random alcohol and drug testing
  • Utilizing special monitoring to ensure compliance with court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs
  • Searching for DUI offenders with outstanding arrest warrants for failure to appear at their court hearing or violating the terms of their probation

This grant is aimed at reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in Tulare County by preventing DUI offenders with suspended or revoked licenses from getting behind the wheel and violating the terms of the probation. In 2015, 22 individuals were killed and 296 injured in such crashes in Tulare County.

“Intensive supervision of DUI offenders helps ensure that these offenders are not a risk to themselves or others,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “Our coordinated effort with the Tulare County Probation Department to keep a close eye on DUI offenders reduces their chance of re-offending, making roadways safer for everyone.”

While alcohol remains the primary cause for DUI crashes, the Tulare County Probation Department supports efforts from OTS that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.