San Diego County DA Gets Traffic Safety Grant as DUI Fatalities on Rise

DUI crash wreckage
The wreckage after a fatal DUI crash in Vista on Jan. 3. Courtesy OnScene.TV

As DUI-related fatality crashes remain on the uptick in San Diego County, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday it has received a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to support DUI-related prosecutions and investigations.

The $810,000 grant will help support the D.A.’s DUI Homicide Unit, fund training for prosecutors on drug-related DUI cases, and training for prosecutors and investigators that is specific to San Diego County.

According to the D.A.’s Office, more than half of people getting arrested in San Diego County for driving under the influence have both drugs and alcohol in their systems and the number of prosecutions on combined drug- and alcohol-impairment cases is increasing.

Those arrested locally with alcohol in their system have an average blood-alcohol content of .18%, more than twice the legal driving limit in California.

Last year, 33 people were killed in DUI crashes in San Diego County and thus far this year, 25 people have been killed.

“The increase over the last few years of people in our community dying at the hands of impaired drivers is disturbing,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement. “As the holiday season approaches, people need to make responsible choices, use ride sharing services and keep their friends and family from getting behind the wheel if they are impaired.”

— City News Service