The California Office of Traffic Safety is helping The Kern County District Attorney’s Office tackle DUI vehicular manslaughter cases with a $220,000 DUI Prosecution Grant that will hire and train a Vertical Prosecution team to handle cases from arrest, conviction to sentencing. The special Office of Traffic Safety prosecutor will take on serious vehicular homicide and dangerous repeat offender cases. Kern County Police make 11 DUI arrests a night and that number does not include the drivers who don’t get caught. Supervising Deputy District Attorney, James Simson says his office has been awarded the competitive grant since 2010 and gets positive results for the families left behind from this crime.
There were 33 vehicular homicides in Kern County this year and DA Simson wants the general public to understand that when someone gets killed in a DUI, the whole family is affected. He adds if DUI had the same stigma as robbery or other crimes, and if the public saw the effects the event firsthand as his team does, they would be shocked and horrified. The majority of DUI’s are committed by people 21 to 27 years of age, partly because they lack the experience and maturity of older drivers.

Jill Michaels