Regulatory and Safety Agencies Team Up to Reduce Drunk Driving
The Traffic Resource Center for Judges (a coalition between the Department of Transportation and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC)) released a Traffic Issue Brief regarding the 24/7 Sobriety Program. In the brief, the counsel considered numerous ways to reduce drunk driving recidivism. They relied on research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and others that suggest that there are a number of factors that help to reduce drunk driving recidivism including:
- Monitoring offender sobriety
- Prompt action for program defiance
South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Program serves as a beacon. The “Intensive Supervision Program” requires monitoring of all defendants. Several states have already adopted legislation for the implementation of similar programs. According to the brief, the three main components of the program are:
- A judicial order requiring alcohol abstinence
- Alcohol monitoring
- Immediate sanctions for violations
The program has proven effective in reducing drunk driving recidivism. Many sobriety programs including South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Program utilize alcohol monitoring devices such as the SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring bracelet and remote breath testing. These devices allow the programs to see if an offender is maintaining sobriety. They also give law enforcement the ability to immediately act upon violations such as positive alcohol readings.
In many instances, collaborative courts have effectively used 24/7 Sobriety Programs in lieu of mandatory jail time. This enables offenders to continue their normal life while focusing on rehabilitation for underlying addiction. Programs focused on alcohol monitoring and immediate sanctions for violations have spread throughout the United States and even the world. The more people united in reducing drunk driving recidivism the more likely we can end alcohol-related fatalities on our roadways.