LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has received a $349,981 California Office of Traffic Safety grant to continue increasing prosecutions for driving under the influence of drugs. The grant runs through 2015. “We can save lives through increased enforcement of laws prohibiting impaired driving,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer. “This grant maintains vitally-needed resources and sends a strong message that our office is committed to doing all we can to keep those impaired by drugs off the road.”
Feuer has long been a leader nationally on preventing drunk and drugged driving, authoring California’s landmark ignition inter-lock law while he was in the State Assembly.
Now in its third year, two full-time prosecutors will “vertically prosecute” driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol cases from arraignment, judgment and sentencing, through probation. Prosecutors assigned to the Impaired Driving Vertical Prosecution Program include Deputy City Attorneys Michelle DeCasas and Jonathan Garza, who bring more than 20 years combined prosecutorial experience.
“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,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). “We will continue to strive to meet our vision – Toward zero deaths, every 1 counts.”
During October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014, Deputy City Attorneys DeCasas and Garza filed an unprecedented 857 impaired driving cases between them, including 753 DUID cases. This represents an increase from 534 DUID cases prosecuted during that same period in 2012-13. Between October 1, 2014 through December 31 2014, the City Attorney’s Office has already filed 267 criminal cases.
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.