Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: email@example.com
Placer County, California's Probation Department and Superior Court launched a pilot program aimed at keeping repeat DUI offenders from getting behind the wheel by subjecting them to more extensive disciplinary oversight.
Motorists who have been convicted of driving under the influence are 40 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers with no DUI convictions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Placer County, Calif., DUI arrests increased about 60 percent between 2000 and 2006. As a result, the Placer County Probation Department and Superior Court launched a pilot program aimed at keeping repeat DUI offenders from getting behind the wheel by subjecting them to more extensive disciplinary oversight. Through funding from the state Office of Traffic Safety, the county will target repeat DUI offenders by busting them for offenses such as probation violations or failure to appear in court. Local law enforcement representatives, prosecutors and probation workers will also work together to identify high-risk DUI offenders awaiting sentencing. If the group determines an individual is at high-risk for re-offending, the judge will likely put them under three to five years formal, supervised probation. In addition to spending time in jail, they will also have their fines, fees and victim restitution closely monitored, and submit to alcohol testing, search and seizure, employment and residence checks. The program will run through Sept. 30, 2008. To learn more, contact the Placer County Probation Department at 530-889-7900.