The Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin to accept a $430,000 state grant aimed at strengthening the DA’s anti-drugged driving program.
In a 5-0 vote without comment, the board cleared Hestrin to add the California Office of Traffic Safety grant to his existing fiscal year budget, specifically for the “Drug-Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program,” which focuses mainly on disposing of misdemeanor drugged driving cases.
The funds, which must be expended by Sept. 30, 2022, will enable the DA’s office to assign two deputy district attorneys to handle drug-impaired driving prosecutions. The DDAs will obtain specialized training and “will share information with peers and law enforcement personnel throughout the county and across the state,” according to an agency statement.
“The DA’s office will accomplish these objectives as a means to prevent impaired driving and reduce drug-involved traffic fatalities and injuries,” the agency stated.
There will be in-house cross-training opportunities overseen by the office, which will monitor “(case) dispositions and conviction rates” achieved in part because of the grant, according to the DA’s office.
The grant funds will be administered out of the main office in downtown Riverside but apply to prosecutions countywide.