The North Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program Explained

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If you didn’t know, the 24/7 Sobriety Program is a statewide program that provides an alternative to jail time for those charged with or convicted of drunk driving or other alcohol related offenses. It was based on a similar program that was developed in South Dakota and was fully implemented in August 2010.

For second-time and subsequent offenders, they are now required to participate in the 24/7 hour sobriety program. First-time drunk driving offenders under the age of 18 will also be required to participate in the 24/7 program.

Outline of the Program

Each person enrolled in the 24/7 program must follow the program guidelines. The guidelines include:

  • Sobriety testing twice per day, seven days per week. The breath tests will be held at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Urine testing and drug patch testing.
  • Electronic monitoring, including home surveillance and remote electronic alcohol monitoring.
  • Defendant pays for the program. This includes fees for alcohol testing, urine testing, drug patch testing, installation and deactivation fees for remote monitoring devices, and remote electronic monitoring daily fees.
  • No alcohol and no bars.

What happens if you violate the program?

If you violate the program, you will be brought in for questioning about termination from the program and/or incarceration. Termination will be determined at the discretion of your parole officer, probation officer or judge.

Violations include the following:

  • Testing positive for alcohol or drug use during the program.
  • Tampering, damaging, obstruction or removing monitoring equipment.
  • Failing to show up for a test.

Long story short, if you skip a test or fail, you go to jail.

The 24/7 program’s main goals are to keep the defendant’s family safer, keep the public safer, reduce the time spent in jail by the defendant, improve treatment and keep defendant’s employers happy. Best of all, there is almost no cost to taxpayers for the program.

Cons of the Program: Things You Should Know

For those that are charged with driving under the influence, the program can be a big hassle. Participants in the program are required to pay for the entire program, and paying for the program, including two tests per day for sometimes months and months, really add up.

Those in the program required to report to their tests twice per day. If they fail to show up for a test, they are subject to immediate jail time. What happens if you have car trouble? Can you leave town for family events like a wedding?

Situations like this often require many to have to continually consult with their attorney to make appropriate arrangements and ensure they are following the rules of the program. No defendant wants to end up in jail because of a tiny misunderstanding or miscommunication.

If you have been charged with a DUI, get in touch with Tatum O’Brien, a criminal defense attorney who has many years of experience. Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo, North Dakota or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 today.

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