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Fresno: The district attorney’s office receives grant for specialized DUI prosecution team

As DUI filings increase in Fresno County, California Office of Traffic Safety awards the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office with a grant to help bring this number down

By ONME Newswire

FRESNO, Calif.--Today, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office announced that they

have been awarded a $530,500 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. This grant

will help fund the specialized prosecution team that handles alcohol and drug-impaired

driving cases. The grant program runs through September 2024.

“Fresno County has a zero-tolerance policy for those that choose to drive under the influence," said Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp. "This grant will allow us to hold to account the most egregious offenders. "

"As we approach the holidays, I want to encourage all who participate in the festivities to utilize ridesharing services or have a designated driver. Please do your part to save lives.”

The specialized prosecution team is partnered with the statewide Traffic Safety Resource

Prosecutor Training Program (TSRP) to provide training to other prosecutors and investigators and to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies in developing best practices for handling and managing driving under the influence (DUI) cases.

This is the 20th year the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has received funding from OTS for a specialized DUI prosecution program. The number of cases reviewed by the DUI Unit increased from 179 during 2022, to 346 cases in 2023, which includes all cases involving injury or death to a victim. The cases reviewed include 26 DUI drug cases, 22 DUI combined alcohol and drug cases, and 23 DUI cases involving fatalities. Of the 23 fatalities, 9 were filed as Watson murders, which is more than the prior three years combined.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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