California voters decided to legalize recreational marijuana in the 2016 elections, allowing for people to carry up to an ounce of the drug without fearing prosecution. Detractors believe that this will lead to a rise in marijuana-related DUI crashes. In response, law enforcement agencies are now being given training on how to spot potential motorists who are under the influence of drugs. SVC News reports on how the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is training law enforcement personnel in recognizing marijuana DUI cases.
It’s the first year of a special section of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office dedicated to persecuting drivers who are under the influence of marijuana and other drugs. Several hundred law enforcement personnel, including police officers and deputy district attorneys, have received training in recognizing and prosecuting those accused of DUI drugs.
With the recent legalization, law enforcement is expecting a wave of DUI cases. They will need police officers and other personnel who are specially trained in the investigation and prosecuting those individuals.
The training includes determining if drugs played a role in serious or fatal crashes as well as the type and quantity of evidence needed to successfully prosecute.
The program was paid for by a grant of $869,646 provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This grant is in addition to another grant, which was given last year for $858,000 to start the program.
DTAPS is also working with police agencies to increase the number of Drug Recognition Expert officers in Los Angeles County. These experts are trained to recognize the effects of impairment of alcohol and several other drugs to determine if they were a factor in a crash.
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