Special team to prosecute DUI cases gets grant

Tribune staff report

Intoxicated drivers in El Dorado County can expect to face highly-trained and specialized prosecutors thanks to a California Office of Traffic Safety grant, District Attorney Vern Pierson said.

The $344,003 grant funds a Vertical Prosecution Team to work on DUI cases from arrest through sentencing, especially cases that involve repeat offenders or crashes with serious injury or death.

“This is the second year we have utilized the vertical prosecution grant and it has been very effective in our county,” Pierson said.

“The grant allows us to fund a highly trained and sophisticated team of professionals to vertically prosecute repeat DUI offenders. If you decide to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in El Dorado County our Vertical Prosecution Team is fully prepared to hold you accountable for your actions.”

The prosecution team handles felony DUI and complex misdemeanor DUI cases through each step of the criminal process.

In cases involving fatal collisions or major-injury collisions, team members may even start an investigation by going to the scene of the crash. Team members will share information with law enforcement personnel throughout California.

The goal of the program is to prevent impaired driving and reduce alcohol- and drug-impaired traffic fatalities and injuries. Last year there were six deaths and 63 serious injuries as a result of DUI crashes in El Dorado County, according to the district attorney’s office.

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