EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) – In just 18 days, 57 DUI arrests were made from August to September according to the district attorney’s office.
Those 57 didn’t result in a fatality, but for the county of El Dorado it’s a major problem.
“On the way home I blacked out at the wheel of the car and hit an oncoming car,” said Tiffany Plotts, who was on prescription drugs when she smashed into another vehicle, killing a young man. “It goes through my mind every day. I think of him and his family every day.”
While Tiffany was under the influence of prescription drugs, the DA said it’s only a fraction of the problems they’re seeing in DUI-related collisions – with alcohol being the most concerning.
A recent statistic available from the California Office of Traffic Safety ranks El Dorado county as the 13th-worst for alcohol-related collisions out of 58 counties.
“A pretty significant problem,” said Deputy District Attorney Jamie Pesce.
She prosecutes hundreds of DUI collisions through a grant from OTS.
“Ultimately prosecuting at most effectively by knowing that case, and all of the factors in it so well,” she said.
El Dorado County is a tourist destination and this grant allows an attorney and investigator to be assigned to each case and handle the work load from beginning to end.
“Investigating the case to its fullest extent by being involved with all of the agencies that are involved and the investigation,” Pesce said.
The DA also uses those funds to educate the public on the dangers of being under the influence, something Tiffany had to learn the hard way.
“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” she said.
Forever changing her life, only three years into her service as a United States soldier and ultimately taking the life of a young man just barely engaged.
The DA’s office said without those grant funds it would be difficult to prosecute DUI cases. They’ll find out if they get that same funding within the next few weeks.