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DUI Enforcement Grant Renewed

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January 23, 2009

The success of the San Diego County Probation Department’s DUI Enforcement Program has been rewarded with the renewal of a $1.1 million Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant to reduce drunk driving on our local roadways.

“We are committed to holding chronic drunk drivers accountable,” said Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins. “In the two years since the program began, I believe we have saved lives by preventing drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and helped others become sober.”

The Board of Supervisors approved funding for the creation of a specially-trained DUI Enforcement Team in 2005. In November 2006, the Department secured an OTS grant, which more than doubled the size of the unit to 10 officers. In the past two years, the unit has made more than 9,000 contacts; performed more than 2,200 home, person, and property searches; and administered nearly 14,000 drug and alcohol tests. The unit has arrested 168 probationers for not complying with the terms of their probation and made an additional 26 DUI arrests.

The unit currently supervises 696 probationers who have been convicted of at least three DUI offenses, a felony evading while driving under the influence, or a DUI causing injury or death. The unit also conducts special operations with other law enforcement agencies including driver’s license and sobriety checkpoints, special events and warrant stings.

Chief Jenkins and Supervising Probation Officer Gonzalo Mendez will describe the success of the program to the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 9:00 a.m. in the Board Chambers.

Funding for the grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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