24/7 Sobriety, a state-administered program aimed at reducing the number of DUIs, is becoming increasingly popular across the nation and particularly in states with high rates of DUI arrests. The program monitors offenders for alcohol intake through either a breath test (twice a day, every day) or an ankle bracelet. Should the offender fail the test, by not showing up or having consumed alcohol, he or she will then be escorted to jail. One of the pros of this program is that the funding comes from the offenders themselves who will pay for the tests or ankle bracelet rather than the taxpayers.
South Dakota has seen great success with this program, but it is Montana who is getting even more creative with its traffic laws. Though the police in counties such as Yellowstone and Musselshell, 2 of the 22 counties in the state who have implemented 24/7 Sobriety, say that the program is working in reducing recidivism and keeping offenders both sober and out of jail, they are still seeing many DUIs a day.
In order to continue combatting these DUIs, Yellowstone County is considering selling the cars of DUI offenders. This practice, if started, could present monetary problems for the county. In populated areas, the county could be seizing at least 100 cars a year which would then necessitate the storage of the seized cars during due process proceedings as well as the ability to pay off liens from the sales of cars; family members of an offender could complicate the process by petitioning the court to halt the sale of their car.
Montana’s overall rate of drug and alcohol related crashes has lowered over the past several years, but the state is still seeking to continue to continue reducing this rate through more creative traffic laws.
The local Virginia courts around Fredericksburg use a similar ankle bracelet program in some instances. SCRAM is mainly used around here for pre-trial monitoring to ensure that people who get bond don’t drink while awaiting their trial, but it can also be used as part of the punishment for alcohol / drug offenses.
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