When it comes to drinking and driving, law enforcement officials and prosecutors in San Diego are often considered to be seasoned, efficient and skilled. In recent years, a greater focus has been placed on drugged driving, an offense that is more difficult for prosecutors to prove beyond the shadow of doubt.
San Diego municipal officials requested a financial grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety a few years ago in order to improve efficiency in the handling of drugged driving cases. These monies were utilized to establish a special prosecutorial unit to handle cases involving drivers suspected of being under the influence of prohibited substances. Drugged driving in California can be punished as a separate offense or in conjunction with drunk driving.
In October 2016, San Diego received a renewal of the grant, which effectively gives more than $285,000 to prosecutors so that they can continue fighting drugged driving.
According to figures cited by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, more than 280 drugged driving cases were prosecuted in just a year thanks to the economic resources provided by the grant. A more interesting figure is that the conviction rate stands at 98 percent in such cases.
Prosecutors have been granted a grant extension, and experienced San Diego DUI attorneys are keeping a careful eye on the news. In the past, the City Attorney’s Office had trouble demonstrating the burden of proof in drugged driving cases, which an experienced San Diego DUI attorney may use to get the case dismissed. Prosecutors can now attend conferences and arrange training sessions for police officers who conduct field investigations of defendants who appear to be driving under the influence now that they have more money.
Even with the additional funds, prosecutors still have the burden of proof in drugged driving cases, which means that an experienced San Diego DUI attorney can still seek to obtain positive outcomes for his or her clients.