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Karl A. Racine
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

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DC Attorney General Office Wins Wrappy Award for Its Work Combatting Impaired Driving

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The District of Columbia Attorney General’s office will receive this year’s WRAPPY Award for Public Service from the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) for its support of the organization’s mission.

The Attorney General’s office was commended for drafting the Comprehensive Impaired Driving Act of 2012, which was submitted by Mayor Vincent C. Gray and passed by the D.C. Council, effective as of August 1, 2012. The statute includes higher penalties for first-time drunk drivers and more severe mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders and drivers with very high breath alcohol scores, drivers impaired by specific drugs, and drivers operating with minors in the vehicle.

The new law also features tough provisions for impaired drivers of commercial vehicles, taxicabs, limos, shuttle buses, and 18-wheelers. The legislation was sponsored and promoted by D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

“We are proud of our work in the impaired driving area, which will be enhanced by our ability to invoke the newly-passed law,” Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan said. “We are pursuing these cases vigorously despite some challenges with equipment for testing drivers, which should be fully resolved soon. Congratulations to our team for their well deserved recognition of their hard work on these issues.”

Mayor Vincent C. Gray said, “I congratulate the Office of the Attorney General for this award, which calls attention to the office’s effective efforts to fight the impaired driving problem and keep the streets of the District safe.”

Attorney General Nathan praised his Public Safety Division, headed by Deputy Attorney General Andrew Fois, for its work on the legislation and in prosecuting impaired drivers. Among others involved in the effort were M. Kimberly Brown, Chief of the division’s Criminal Section; Dave Rosenthal, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Whitney Stoebner and Brittany Keil, Assistant Chiefs of the Criminal Section; Melissa Shear, traffic safety resource prosecutor; Mary Connaught O’Connor, DUI prosecutor; and Assistant Attorneys General Sarah Branch, Rachel Bohlen, Jeffrey Cargill, Ron Chester, Kate DeLeon, Brian Kim, Yefat Levy, Jemine Mode, Scott Peary, Tanya Pierce, and Peter Saba.

WRAP, founded in 1982, is a coalition that works against impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington area and has been a supportive partner to OAG’s efforts. The program is credited with keeping the area’s total of alcohol-related deaths consistently lower than the national average. It sponsors SoberRide, a popular free taxi service for would-be drunk drivers.

The award will be given during WRAP’s annual luncheon and awards ceremony at The Hamilton Restaurant in Washington, D.C. on October 19.

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