The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it was awarded a $912,050 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to expand its Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Unit, which prosecutes alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers.

In the announcement about the grant, the City Attorney’s Office cited findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that nationwide fatal car crashes increased 7.2% in 2020.

“The stark increase in automobile deaths makes it all the more imperative to save lives and reduce accidents through increased enforcement of alcohol and drug-impaired driving,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “This grant from OTS supports this crucial work and sends the strong message that our office is committed to aggressively ensuring that people who drink or do drugs stay off the road. We deeply appreciate our great partnership with OTS.”

Between October 2020 and September 2021, the City Attorney’s Office filed 5,228 cases involving drivers allegedly under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination.

“Experience and knowledge are critical for prosecutors to build successful impaired driving cases,” California Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney said. “This program provides resources, tools and a strong training network for DUI prosecution teams that hold people who drive under the influence accountable for their actions.”

The funding will support the unit’s staff as they prosecute alcohol- and drug-impaired driving cases and manage them from arrest through sentencing. The grant will also aid staff as they work with the Southern California Training Network to expand knowledge and resources with specialized training.

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