The California Highway Patrol is seeking to beef up its enforcement in California DUI cases. The law enforcement agency has received a federal grant that it intends to use to reduce a backlog in outstanding California DUI cases. While checkpoints and other enforcement efforts can be expected to continue, the new initiative is focusing on cases that have already been charged. In a given year, California law enforcement agencies and prosecutors charge thousands of people with DUI. The CHP says that in 2009, more than 210,000 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California.

The CHP recently announced the creation of a task force formed for the purpose of serving DUI warrants across the state. Currently the CHP says 330,000 misdemeanor and felony DUI arrest warrants remain outstanding.

The CHP received a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is using the grant in an effort to reduce the backlog of outstanding DUI arrest warrants in the state. The task force is expected to be serving warrants statewide. The task force will use service teams to conduct sweeps to serve the warrants.

The 330,000 DUI warrants arose for a variety of reasons. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow says the "DUI warrants target individuals who did not complete necessary actions when charged with a DUI, such as failing to appear before a judge or violating probation." The CHP says it will be aggressive in seeking out the individuals who are under warrant in DUI related cases.

The federal grant will allow CHP service teams to conduct sweeps through the summer. The CHP says the sweeps will continue through September 30.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Solano residents beware-CHP creates task force for DUI warrants," 5 May 2011