Traffic Safety Resource Program
PAC’s Traffic Safety Resource Program, funded in part by grants from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), provides Georgia traffic prosecutors with up-to-date resource material and training opportunities designed to prepare them for and assist them with the ongoing battle against impaired driving and traffic fatalities. D.U.I. and Vehicular Homicide cases often present enormous challenges to prosecutors as a result of the technical complexity of the D.U.I. statutes, the sophistication of the scientific issues often involved, and the constantly evolving nuances in expert witness testimony. Furthermore, traffic prosecutors are typically the newest, least experienced members of Georgia’s prosecution community, and they are often pitted against seasoned, veteran defense attorneys who specialize in D.U.I. and traffic offenses. The goal of the Traffic Safety Resource Program is to enable traffic prosecutors to better prepare themselves and their cases for trial by providing specialized training, legal research, practical resource material, and “real-time” trial support throughout the State.
Georgia’s Traffic Safety Resource Program is staffed by two Senior Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors and a P.O.S.T. certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Among the resources and services available to state prosecutors are:
- Analysis of emerging legal issues pertinent to traffic safety that are being developed and exploited by defense attorneys across the State.
- Instruction on traffic-specific trial competency skills (including how to prepare for and structure traffic cases for trial; how to deal with defense “expert” witnesses; ongoing case law updates; and cross-training programs with law enforcement officers) designed to improve conviction rates.
- Presentation of NHTSA and NTLC traffic courses, such as Protecting Lives, Saving Futures; Lethal Weapon: D.U.I. Homicide; Prosecuting the Drugged Driver; and Cops in Court.
- Providing answers to questions posed by prosecutors throughout the state on traffic safety issues, whether via telephone, e-mail, or in person upon request.
- Handling traffic-related criminal cases where the office of the local prosecutor is disqualified due to a conflict of interest.
- Facilitating increased communication and information sharing between Georgia prosecutors and the law enforcement community through the Georgia Traffic Enforcement Networks and through joint training programs such as the Joint Law Enforcement/Prosecution D.U.I. Training held throughout the State on an ongoing basis.
- Local community partners including public safety agencies, GATEN coordinators, law school faculty and staff may also contact the Georgia Traffic Safety Resource Program with questions on public safety issues or with requests for specialized training or requests to participate in traffic safety related functions.