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Grant to Net More DUI Convictions?

District Attorney Jan Scully announced today the receipt of $43,969 in continued funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for enhanced Crime Laboratory support of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) enforcement efforts in Sacramento County.

Throughout the year, and especially during peak holiday periods, there are a number of DUI sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols in Sacramento County that aim to prevent deaths and injuries caused by intoxicated drivers. These DUI enforcement operations are carried out by a number of local and state law enforcement agencies.

The "Enhanced Forensic Laboratory Support for DUI Enforcement in Sacramento County" grant supports these enforcement efforts by continuing to fund a criminalist from the DA Crime Laboratory's Toxicology Unit to be on-site at all of the scheduled sobriety checkpoints throughout the county. The criminalist provides a breath-alcohol testing device and technical support to ensure accuracy checks are performed, thereby protecting the validity of the results.

With this on-site support, law enforcement can test suspected DUI drivers at checkpoint sites rather than spending up to an hour transporting them to the jail for analysis. The time saved in transporting subjects could be detrimental in holding DUI offenders accountable, especially if their blood alcohol is .08 percent. Because alcohol burns off at a rate of .02 percent per hour, these offenders would no longer be at a level of intoxication by the time they arrived at the jail.

The grant funds overtime pay for one criminalist and one part-time administrative services officer to manage the program.