FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 6, 20130 –
The state’s Office of Traffic Safety will continue to fund a special DUI enforcement unit in Yolo County, reports the Yolo District Attorney’s office.
The state has awarded Yolo $233,295 for the prosecution of “driving under the influence” cases, said a press statement from Chief Deputy D.A. Jonathan Raven.
“As a result of the (Office of Traffic Safety) funding, a highly trained staff can focus attention and resources on repeat offenders and drivers who cause collisions where there is an injury or fatality,” said Raven. “The grant will continue to fund the District Attorney’s Vertical Prosecution Unit, allowing one prosecutor to handle a case through all stages of the criminal process, from the time of arrest through sentencing. The funding also allows the team to assist law enforcement in the investigation of fatal and major injury collisions.”
The office prosecutes “thousands” of DUI cases annually, said Raven. Most of those are alcohol-related, but prosecutors are seeing more cases of drivers under the influence of marijuana, prescription drugs, methamphetamine or a combination of alcohol and drugs.
The Yolo prosecution team includes Deputy D.A. Matt De Moura, investigator John Shugart (a retired CHP sergeant) and legal secretary Lori Castaneda. Last month, the team joined Deputy D.A. Martha Holzaphel in gaining the conviction of Reyes Barajas of Redwood City on two counts of second degree murder. Barajas killed his wife and teenage son in an accident while he was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.19 percent. A level of 0.08 percent is “presumed guilty” for DUI.
Barajas had three prior DUI convictions. He faces 30 years to life in state prison.
Copyright News-Ledger 2013