The California Office of Traffic Safety has agreed to provide a $360,000 grant to create a specialized team that can both investigate and prosecute felony DUI charges with injuries as well as alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter cases.
The funding was needed to help the Southwest Riverside District Attorney’s manage their caseload. Of the cases that have already been prosecuted, a number of them included individuals who had multiple DUI offenses in Riverside.
California’s penalties for DUI offenses are notoriously tough. There is a significant difference between the consequences for a first DUI offense and the second. By the third offense, individuals face serious prison time.
The Lake Elsinore Wildomar Patch reported on several of the high-profile cases handled by the Riverside DA’s office. Although most of the individuals covered had not been sentenced yet, the individuals who had been sentenced received between six and ten year prison sentences.
Several of the people arrested last year had what are known as enhanceable offenses. Sometimes known as aggravating factors, DUI enhancements in Riverside may include:
- Child endangerment – DUI with a minor under the age of 14
- Felony DUI – Having four or more DUI arrests within 10 years
- Excessive Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) – Having a BAC of .15 or greater
- DUI Accidents – Causing bodily injury or death while driving under the influence
Individuals arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) with an enhanceable offense are likely to face much harsher penalties in California.
Source: www.lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com, “Local High Profile DUI Fatalities Attract Attention,” Toni McAllister, 13 January 2012