(Woodland, CA) – November 20, 2017 – Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that the Director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Heidi King visited the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to recognize the DA’s DUI prosecution program which as a distinct and exceptional leader in the state of California. NHTSA Chief Counsel Jonathan Morrison and NHTSA Region 9 Administrator Christopher Murphy joined Director King on the visit.
Director King recognized Yolo DA for their prosecution of DUIs, the training of officers and other DA’s offices on how to detect and prosecute DUIs, as well as their outreach and education to the community and on social media. Director King listened to a presentation from Yolo DA prosecutors regarding the program’s to prevent impaired driving and reduce alcohol and drug-impaired traffic fatalities and injuries.
Deputy District Attorneys who are assigned to the program prosecute the most serious and complex DUI cases, such as those involving injury and death, and those involving drug impairment. Deputy District Attorneys assigned to these cases handle them through all stages of the criminal process, from the time of the arrest through sentencing. They also focused closely on training law enforcement throughout California on DUI investigation. To date, close to 1,000 officers have been reached through DUI training by the Yolo County District Attorney’s OTS grant.
A key component of the program’s goal to prevent impaired driving is community outreach. Too often young people get caught up in drugs or alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. In response to this alarming trend, in 2014, the team launched its “DUI in the Schools” program; a program where the team, in conjunction with its criminal justice partners, brings real DUI trials to High Schools in the County and is designed for students to watch a real DUI trial so that the students can understand and appreciate the dangers of DUI and the negative consequences. The hope is that by seeing a trial firsthand, students will learn and make good choices while driving. Besides bringing trials to students in schools, the program has done outreach at local high schools during their red ribbon week and DUI prevention week through social media and rallies at schools.
District Attorney Jeff Reisig stated, “It’s an honor to have NHTSA Director Heidi King and her staff visit our office and hear about our distinguished DUI prosecution program. Our goal is to continue to be a leader in the state in DUI prosecution and prevention.”
Funding for the program comes from a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.