24/7 Sobriety Project Shows Significant Reduction in DUI Recidivism

In January 2013, the American Journal of Public Health published a comprehensive study completed by the RAND Corporation that studied the effectiveness and impact of South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Project.  The study was conducted over a 5-year period from 2005 to 2010 and evaluated more than 17,000 participants.  The results were astonishing.  According to the study, on a county level there was a 12% reduction in repeat DUI arrests.

South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Project uses technology like the SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring bracelet to test alcohol consumption in a participant.  The monitors test sweat excreted from the skin for alcohol every 30 minutes.  Program participants must submit to either twice daily breath tests or wear the alcohol monitoring bracelet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There are direct consequences enforced by the court or monitoring agency for failure to maintain sobriety during the monitoring period.  The program was initially introduced in 2004 by South Dakota’s Attorney General.  Those who were arrested for a second or subsequent DUI were required to submit to alcohol testing as a condition of release.

Studies show that participants have a sobriety rate of over 99%.  The 24/7 program in South Dakota has served as a model for other programs across the nation and even the world with the United Kingdom announcing a similar compulsory sobriety pilot project in 2010.  As of 2018, programs have expanded throughout the United States and other countries to help deter drunk driving recidivism and other crimes where alcohol is often involved such as domestic violence and child abuse.