In 2016, the County Sheriff’s Office was awarded a $94,772 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long program aimed at preventing DUI-related deaths and injuries on our roadways through special enforcement and public awareness efforts.
According to the latest data, the number of alcohol-impaired driving deaths has remained virtually unchanged in California in the past four years. To reduce this, the state is working with local communities.
Using the State grant, the County will strengthen the accuracy and reliability of blood alcohol concentration testing with a state-of-the-art tool, supplies to analyze blood alcohol levels, and a temporary increase in staffing during the grant period.
The County Sheriff’s Office chose to take on the responsibility of managing the operation of the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) program in San Luis Obispo County in 2014.
As a result, the Sheriff’s Forensic Alcohol Laboratory provides DUI blood sample testing to a variety of government agencies in the area, including:
- San Luis Obispo Police Department
- Paso Robles Police Department
- Arroyo Grande Police Department
- Atascadero Police Department
- Morro Bay Police Department
- Grover Beach Police Department
- Pismo Beach Police Department
- Both Templeton and San Luis Obispo Highway Patrol divisions
- State Parks and Recreation in SLO County
Each of these agencies depends on the accuracy and reliability of the the Sheriff’s lab to assist in reducing the number of deaths and injuries attributable to alcohol and drug involvement.
Court-Ordered DUI Programs
At the same time, the County Health Agency provides services at no cost to the taxpayer to those who need to fulfill court-ordered requirements stemming from penalties related to a DUI. This program is mandated by the State to be self-supported through fees charged to those who have been convicted of a DUI, rather than County General Fund dollars.
For more than two decades, the County has conducted its court-ordered Driving Under the Influence Programs and is one of the few County governments in California to conduct these types of programs. About 2,300 participants are enrolled each year.
Through the Health Agency, the County’s DUI programs are 20 percent more effective in reducing repeat DUI-related offenses than the State average.