Daily Breath Tests Help Prevent Repeat DUI Arrests

An alcohol monitoring program in South Dakota that relies on daily breath tests administered to people rearrested for DUI has proved to be successful in helping reduce the incidence of repeat DUI arrests.

The program, dubbed the 24/7 Sobriety Project was implemented in 2005. In an analysis of the program, researchers from the RAND Corporation found that the implementation of the program resulted in a 12% drop in the number of repeated DUI arrests in the counties in which the program is implemented.

That was not all. The analysis also found that when the program was expanded to cover a number of other offenses, including domestic violence, it also resulted in a drop in the arrest numbers for those offenses as well. For instance, it resulted in a 9% drop in the number of arrests for domestic violence-related offenses.

The program was initially initiated in 2005, and was first implemented only in 5 counties in South Dakota. As part of the program, people who were rearrested on a DUI charge were ordered to enroll in the program, and were asked to submit to a test twice every day. Participation in the program was mandatory, and missing the test was punishable with a prison term of 2 days.

The program was quickly expanded to make it easier for judges to order people to enroll in the program. Los Angeles DUI lawyers believe that part of the reason why the program has been successful is because it has been strengthened under the law. In 2007, a law was passed that allowed judges to order defendants they believed have an alcohol problem to enroll in the program as a condition of bail, or in place of a sentence. Judges could also order enrollment in the program as a condition of parole. In domestic violence cases, enrollment in the program is sometimes a requirement to regain custody of children.