Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Receives Grant for Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Training Program

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a $86,270 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a program of training, special enforcements, and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries.  The Sheriff’s Office will use the funding as part of the County’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life with both enforcement and training through the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Training Program.

Commander Rick Barrios, Sheriff’s DRE Committee Director, said, “Drug impaired driving and the use of illegal drugs continues to be a problem everywhere.  Putting more DRE’s on the street in Ventura County will help the Sheriff’s Office to keep our communities safe.  With the passing of Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, we anticipate having more drivers on the street driving under the influence and impaired.  We have continued to make the DRE Training Program a priority.”

After falling to a ten-year low in 2010, the number of persons killed has climbed nearly 17% across the state with 3,176 killed in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Particularly alarming is the six year rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies, and the emergence of drug-impaired driving as a major problem.  This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk driving, speeding and crashes at intersections.

“Years of research tell us that enforcement and education work best jointly to combat unsafe driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft.  “This grant brings both tactics together, with the Office of Traffic Safety and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office working in concert to help keep the streets and highways safe across Ventura County and the state.”

Activities that the grant will fund include:

  • DRE staffing at DUI checkpoints
  • DRE staffing for DUI saturation patrols
  • Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and DRE School

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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