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.
In an effort to increase efficiency in its handling of drugged driving cases, San Diego city officials asked the California Office of Traffic Safety for a cash grant a few years ago. Those funds were used to create a special prosecution team to handle cases that involve drivers believed to be under the influence of controlled substances. Under California statutes, drugged driving can be prosecuted as its own offense or in combination 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.
Seasoned San Diego DUI attorneys are paying close attention to the news related to the grant extension awarded to prosecutors. In the past, the City Attorney’s Office had difficulty presenting the burden of proof in drugged driving cases that a skilled San Diego DUI attorney could move to dismiss. Now that they have extra funds at their disposal, prosecutors can attend conferences and arrange training sessions for police officers who conduct field investigations of suspects who appear to be driving under the influence.
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.