Pixel Tracker

Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 10:41 pm | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 

County Grant Renewed for Supervision of DUI Offenders

Probation Department program will focus on the Santa Maria region

Are you driving on a suspended license? Are you thinking of absconding from probation supervision after a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Do you have a DUI warrant for your arrest? These are questions the Santa Barbara County Probation Department wants nearly 700 convicted DUI offenders and another about 350 who have absconded from supervision to consider.

Four years ago, the department’s DUI Supervision Program first went into effect, targeting these offenders. Funding for the innovative program has been renewed for another year by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Probation Department’s DUI Supervision Program will focus on the Santa Maria region where about 51 percent of the county’s DUI offenders are supervised. The selection of this region for additional DUI-related interventions is also indicated by the disproportionate number of alcohol-involved collisions resulting in injury or deaths. Of 103 like-sized California cities, Santa Maria is ranked second in terms of the rate of these collisions according to the OTS Collision Rankings.

The department will target the highest-risk DUI probationers in the Santa Maria region for increased field supervision and office contacts, DUI program verification activities, searches and routine alcohol testing.

“The devastation drunken drivers inflict on victims and their family affects the entire community and prompted the department’s pursuit of this grant,” Chief Probation Officer Patti Stewart said. “The DUI Supervision Program will assist in preventing further unnecessary injury or loss of life. Drunken driving offenders will be held accountable through the utilization of interventions that have proven to be effective in reducing DUI recidivism while sustaining an important focus on treatment.”

Drunken driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. In 2009, more than 10,800 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. California data for 2009 shows that 950 died in Alcohol Impaired Collisions, a 7.6 percent reduction in deaths from 2008.

“Everyone in California should be heartened with these figures,” said Christopher Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “But as encouraging as this is, we can’t let up on the efforts to promote and enforce traffic safety. Far too many are still losing their lives or being severely injured on our roadways.

“These figures represent more people making it home safely and alive each day. But to keep this trend going, we will continue to strive to meet our vision — toward zero deaths, every one counts.”

— Heather Bennett is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Probation Department.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.