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Safeguarding streets with crime lab grant

$500,000 funding to fight impaired driving

SD Sheriffs Media Relations

In the spirit of giving, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Regional Crime Laboratory is unwrapping a $517, 374 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

This festive windfall is set to sprinkle some serious holiday magic on our efforts against impaired driving.

To ensure our roads stay merry and bright throughout the year, the money will be used in funding two full-time Crime Lab Criminalists specializing in the analysis of biological samples for the presence of drugs and alcohol. Their findings will help in the prosecution of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases in court. The grant will also be used for the training of the Crime Lab's Toxicology Criminalists.

This grant is like a gift from Santa himself and no one is happier than our Elf on a Shelf, Deputy Tinsel. He's been checking out all our technology at the Crime Lab.

Of the 1,944 samples tested during the grant period October 2022 through September 2023, those arrested had an average blood alcohol concentration that was more than twice the legal limit; 55% of the arrested drivers had alcohol and at least one additional impairing drug in their system. The drugs most commonly detected in the blood samples were cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.

The Sheriff's Crime Lab provides forensic science services to more than 30 law enforcement agencies in the county. It processes more than 6,000 samples in traffic safety cases per year.

This holiday season, give the gift of safety on our roads by designating a sober driver with your celebrations. We all have someone special waiting for us at home. Let's make sure we all get there safely.

The grant program runs through September 2024. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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