Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
HOME

Placer County program targets worst DUI offenders



AUBURN, CA -- The Placer County Probation Department, which is launching a pilot program designed to take high-risk Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenders off the streets, held a news conference today to describe the county’s recent efforts. Thanks to a $229,107 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), as well as support from local law enforcement and the Superior Court, high-risk DUI offenders will be subject to much more extensive disciplinary oversight.

Chief Probation Officer Stephen Pecor described the county’s recent efforts to hold more accountable those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs through more aggressive probation monitoring. To date, more than 50 people living within Placer County who have been convicted of multiple DUIs have had their cases reviewed as a result of the grant-funded program.

“The DUI problem in Placer County, as in many other counties, has become the deadliest and most destructive of all crimes,” said Pecor. “The number of DUI arrests has increased very significantly in recent years, from 1,580 in 2000 – an average of 4.3 arrests a day – to 2,632 in 2006 – an average of 7.2 arrests per day.”

According to Pecor, high-risk DUI offenders will now face three to five years formal, supervised probation. In addition to spending time in jail, they will also have their fines, fees, and victim restitution closely monitored. They must complete Court and Department of Motor Vehicles substance abuse programs, submit to alcohol testing, search and seizure, employment and residence checks, as well as numerous other court-ordered probation terms.

“All drunk drivers are dangerous,” said District Attorney Brad Fenocchio. “This pilot program identifies those who are among the most dangerous, and it intensifies the pressure necessary to reduce their numbers. County population increases mean increased crime. This pilot project targets the repeat DUI offender by recognizing that they are the highest risk people who have already proved their dangerous propensity to drink and drive. Quite simply, this project will save someone’s life.”

Probation’s Adult Services Manager Karen Lund oversees the OTS grant and all related DUI supervision activities. She identified high-risk offenders as those drivers with such factors as a high blood alcohol content, prior DUI convictions or a criminal history. Other indicators included whether the arrest involved an accident or injury, whether children were present in the vehicle, and whether the defendant evaded arrest or provided false information.

“Law enforcement officers on the streets are the most visible part of anti-DUI efforts,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “But programs like this can help tremendously to keep drivers who can’t get the message any other way off the streets and on a better, safer path.”

Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols attributes the progress made in the pilot program to a large scale county and community response.

“Alarmed by the progressive increase in the number of DUI arrests in the county, the court called a meeting of all the agencies,” said Nichols. “After much discussion, the participants agreed on a course of action to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenders in Placer County.”

Judge Nichols and fellow Superior Court Judge Frances Kearney chaired a number of DUI Community Forums that were held last spring and summer. In addition to the Courts and Probation, attendees included police chiefs, District Attorney, Placer County Supervisors Jim Holmes and Bruce Kranz, the County Executive Officer, California Highway Patrol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Placer County Health and Human Services, local attorneys, and concerned citizens.

Judge Nichols handles the majority of DUI cases in Placer County and works closely with local law enforcement agencies, the defense bar, District Attorney, and Probation to implement the high-risk DUI pilot project. After reviewing and assessing all of the case factors, this group makes a recommendation to Probation as to whether a given individual is at high risk of re-offending. Probation completes its assessment and makes a final recommendation to the court, which may choose to put the defendant on formal probation.

Bekki Riggan, Principal Management Analyst with the County Executive Office, coordinated the initial DUI symposium, where participants heard from experts and reviewed research about promising approaches being used in other jurisdictions. “I was very pleased with the coordinated efforts and results from the law enforcement community,” she said. “This solution appears to offer Placer County the best chance of reducing deadly accidents caused by drunk drivers countywide.”

The grant from to the Placer County Probation Department will fund a two-year pilot period from October 1, 2006, through September 30, 2008. It is funded by OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Chief Probation Officer Stephen Pecor released the following information about Placer County DUI numbers over the past seven years.

Year # of DUI Arrests Average per Day

2000 1580 4.3

2001 1960 5.4

2002 1827 5.0

2003 1835 5.0

2004 1974 5.4

2005 2180 6.0

2006 2632 7.2

TOTAL: 13,988

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers with DUI convictions are 40 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers with no DUI convictions.





Placer County News Headlines

Transportation Sales Tax Closer to Ballot MeasureThe Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) Board of Directors, acting as the Placer County Local Transportation Authority, unanimously adopted the Keep Placer Moving Transportation Investment Plan

Beach House Restaurant in Pacific Grove Hits All the Sweet SpotsPacific Grove, CA- Gazing upon the ebb and flow of the cool, clear Pacific waters as they lap against the shore of Monterey Bay as the sun gently descends toward the horizon is a damn fine way

Placer County Grand Jury Report Critical of Local Government Operations This year's Placer County Grand Jury Final Report contains some individual reports which are critical of local government operations

Placer County Fair in Roseville 2016ROSEVILLE, CA. Just in time to head off the summer vacation blues, the Placer County Fair, June 23-36, comes to life with fabulous fair food, swirling carnival rides, farm animals

Summer of Free Museums in Placer CountyMuseums throughout Placer County will offer free admission on select days all summer as the Heritage Trail Museums Tour returns for its ninth year

Python Snake on the Loose in Rocklin LocatedRocklin, CA- The Rocklin Police Department was informed the snake that escaped from its owner was located.

Rocklin Police Investigating Suspicious CircumstanceRocklin, CA- On Monday, June 20, 2016, Rocklin Police responded to a report of a suspicious person inside a gated community near Hillcrest Drive.

Lexus RX 350: Revised and Not Just for WomenRoseville, CA- Although enamored with this Lexus model in previous years, the thinking here was the Lexus RX was a luxury, midsize crossover sport utility vehicle

Placer County to Limit Medical Marijuana CultivationCommercial medical marijuana cultivation and sale will not be allowed in unincorporated Placer County, after the board of supervisors voted 3-2

California Fires Update Summary (6.22.16)Over 5,000 firefighters are battling 4 large wildfires in California, while firefighters around the rest of the state battled dozens of new fires

Roseville Gas Prices Holding SteadyRoseville, CA- Roseville gas prices have been holding relatively steady this past week. As usual, Costco, Sam's Club and ARCO dominate the low price leaderboard

Students Impacted by Walsh Family ScholarshipsRocklin, CA - Sierra College students who received the John G. and Lillian M. Walsh Family Scholarship say that it encouraged them to come to Sierra College


NEWS: In Case You Missed It