PHOENIX, AZ (November 1, 2012) – Vehicular crimes prosecutors in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will benefit from the latest techniques for investigating fatal and serious injury collisions involving drug impaired drivers thanks to a grant provided by the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The grant monies allowed the Chief of the MCAO’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau to attend a weeklong training in Philadelphia, PA which provided the most advanced information available on the effects of drugs in cases involving impaired driving.
“As a result of this training, our office has better tools to support and enhance DUI prosecutions in Maricopa County which ultimately helps us protect the citizens we serve,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This grant is not only the latest example of the successful partnership between the County Attorney’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, it is an investment that will help keep our roadways safe by successfully holding DUI offenders accountable for their criminal actions,” he added.
“We are pleased to provide the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office with this opportunity to enhance the prosecution of drug impaired drivers and deter people from making the wrong decision to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol,” remarked Alberto C. Gutier, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with the County Attorney to ensure that we have the latest and best capabilities to keep dangerous drivers off our roads,” added Gutier.
The weeklong Borkenstein Course on Effects of Drugs/Impaired Driving is taught by internationally recognized experts from a variety of scientific fields and provides prosecutors with a unique opportunity to learn the latest collision investigation techniques and interact with their peers in the law enforcement community. The course covers a range of topics including drug testing methodologies, pharmacology and behavioral impacts, forensic investigatory techniques, and strategies for case preparation.
Current estimates indicate drug use plays a role in up to half of all drivers who incur fatal injuries in the U.S. Drug impaired driving is now recognized as a worldwide problem and efforts are underway to develop new strategies to address it. Programs like the Borkenstein course are designed to provide prosecutors, law enforcement officers and public safety personnel with the necessary training to fight this problem.