Monday, 04 08, 2013
Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that his office is again helping to train police and prosecutors in the effective prosecution of DUI and drugged driving cases at a regional seminar that begins today, Monday, April 8 and runs through Wednesday, April 10 at the Hilton Suites in Lexington, Ky.
The training is coordinated through the Attorney General's Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program. The goal of the training is to create a team building approach in the detection, apprehension and prosecution of impaired drivers, particularly those impaired by illicit or prescription drugs.
"Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that roughly one in eight weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illicit drugs," General Conway said. "Additionally, of the drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationally in 2009, one in three tested positive for drugs. I want to ensure that police and prosecutors have the tools they need so that we can keep drugged and alcohol impaired drivers off of Kentucky highways."
Entitled "Prosecuting the Drugged Driver," the training is funded through the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety with grant funds provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Assistance for this training has been provided by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and the Kentucky State Police.
This is the first such training within the Commonwealth to focus on the growing problem of drugged drivers. Previous trainings that focused on alcohol-impaired drivers have been held in Bowling Green, Prestonsburg, Covington and Lexington.
"The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and our Office of Highway Safety, look forward to continuing a very effective partnership with the Office of the Attorney General to provide funding in support of the Commonwealth's Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor," said Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, who is the Governor's Representative for Highway Safety. "Robert Stokes, the Attorney General's Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, has done an exceptional job in conducting training workshops and coordinating training opportunities for both law enforcement and prosecutors throughout the state. It is not only our responsibility, it is a priority of this administration to provide all highway safety professionals with the tools and resources they need to save and protect lives on our highways."
Representatives of the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving also plan to attend the training.
"MADD strongly supports the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Program and commends the Attorney General's office for implementing this program," said Rosalind Donald, MADD Kentucky Victim Advocate. "We are grateful to be invited to participate in the training and hope to shed light on the long-lasting effects that drunk and drugged driving crashes create for victims and survivors. Impaired driving is a serious crime. Trainings such as these help ensure that the criminal justice system address DUI charges consistently and effectively, which ultimately helps protect society from needless death and injury."
The training is presented under the direction of the American Prosecutors Research Institute's (APRI) National Traffic Law Center and is open to the media.