News Releases

November 29, 2017: LADA Trains Hundreds of Law Enforcement Officials to Aid Prosecution of DUI Cases Involving Marijuana

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Several hundred law enforcement personnel, including police officers and deputy district attorneys, have been trained in the first year of a Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office section dedicated to investigating and prosecuting driving under the influence cases involving marijuana and other drugs.

Last year, the District Attorney’s Office began taking a leadership role in making sure that local law enforcement personnel and deputy district attorneys were trained to successfully investigate and prosecute what is expected to be a wave of driving under the influence of drug cases.

As a result, the DUI Training and Prosecution Section (DTAPS) has been tasked with reviewing, and in some instances, prosecuting DUI-drug cases that result in a homicide. In addition, they have been assisting law enforcement personnel and prosecutors in determining whether drugs played a role in serious or fatal traffic collisions and the type and quantity of evidence needed to support a successful prosecution.

An $869,646 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was approved this year to pay for the program which also aims to prevent impaired driving and reduce alcohol and drug-related fatalities and injuries. Last year, the office received an $858,000 grant to get the program started.

DTAPS also is focused on working with police agencies to increase the number of officers who are certified Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) in Los Angeles County.  As a result of the extensive training they receive, DREs are in a unique position to articulate the effects of impairment caused by the various drug categories and they are able to determine if someone was impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two, while driving.