Felony and repeat misdemeanor DUI (driving under the influence) offenders are over-represented in traffic crashes involving alcohol or other drugs, often with tragic results. A $129,729 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to the Santa Barbara County Probation Department will be making sure that these worst-of-the-worst offenders are complying with all court orders.

Santa Barbara County Probation Chief Beverly Taylor stated, “The Santa Barbara County Probation Department is pleased to be awarded this grant to continue this important work, and we look forward for the opportunity to work collaboratively with other agencies in the county to make our streets safer.”

The grant will fund deputy probation officers to intensely monitor drivers on probation for felony DUI or multiple misdemeanor DUI convictions. Supervision for these high-risk offenders will include:

» Unannounced home searches

» Random alcohol and drug testing

» Special monitoring to ensure compliance with court-ordered DUI education and treatment programs

The Intensive Probation Supervision for High-Risk Felony and Repeat DUI Offenders grant is aimed at reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol- and other drug-related collisions in the county. In 2012, 18 were killed and 298 injured in such crashes in Santa Barbara County.

The Santa Barbara County Probation Department will also collaborate with other local law enforcement agencies to conduct warrant service operations targeting individuals who fail to make court appearances after DUI arrests.

“California’s roadways are still among the safest in the nation,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “But to meet future mobility, safety, and sustainability objectives, we must create safer roadways for all users. The Santa Barbara County Probation Department will be using these and other resources to reach the vision we all share — Toward zero deaths, every one counts.”

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

— Kristina Brumbaugh is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Probation Department.