California Assembly Member Cooley introduced legislation to establish a “24/7 Sobriety” Monitoring Program. The program is intended to be directly modeled after South Dakota’s program of the same name, which has met great success and has been the earmark for many other programs throughout the country. The program utilizes monitoring of repeat alcohol offenders with SCRAM (Secure, Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) bracelets. South Dakota began monitoring alcohol offenders in 2005 offenders under a pilot 24/7 Sobriety Program. Since then, in South Dakota alone, the program has reached over 40,000 participants with a pass rate of 99.1%.
California is hoping to see the same success through implementation of this program. DUI Recidivism is of great concern to legislators and the public-at-large. Too many times people are arrested and convicted of driving under the influence, only to go out and do it again. South Dakota saw a 12% decrease in the number of repeat DUI offenders after starting the 24/7 Sobriety program. Because the program requires complete sobriety monitored through frequent testing, participants are held to the highest standard and often given a chance to review previous poor choices related to alcohol use. The program has not only made a huge impact on drinking and driving statistics, but also on participants themselves who often call the after effects transformative.
The Bill is currently in Appropriations and held under submission. With a near unanimous pass in both the Transportation and Public Safety Committees (one member in each committee had “no vote recorded) this bill is sure to make it into law.