What is the 24/7 Sobriety Program?

Seeing the rise in alcohol related traffic arrests and accidents, the state of North Dakota enacted the 24/7 Sobriety Program. It is a rehabilitation program that affects individuals arrested for a second or subsequent DUI. Participation in the 24/7 program may be required as a condition of parole & probation, for any violation where drugs or alcohol may be involved, or in cases involving domestic abuse, or abuse/neglect of a child.


How Does the 24/7 Sobriety Program Work?

Once convicted of a second or subsequent DUI, Judges will issue a bond order requiring the arrestee to refrain from alcohol use. They will also have to show up twice a day, during a specific timeframe at a specific location, for a breath alcohol test. Each participant is required to pay $1.00 per test to offset the cost of testing. If there is any alcohol detected, they are immediately taken to jail. If they fail to show for testing, their bond will be revoked.

What Are the Conditions of the Program?

There are several conditions of the program. They include no alcohol, no bars, a breath test twice daily or electronic monitoring, random urine analysis or drug patch testing. Also, the defendant must pay for the program, it does not replace any treatment component, and if a participant skips or fails, they go to jail.

Why was the Program Started?

The program was established to implement alternatives to jail time for persons convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, domestic violence, abuse or neglect of a child, or any other offenses where alcohol or controlled substances are involved. Depending on the severity of the offense, the 24/7 Sobriety Program will often be paired with other penalties. These penalties can include, but are not limited to, fines of $500 or more, imprisonment, addiction evaluation, probation, and suspension of driver’s license.

What are the Benefits of the 24/7 Program?

There are many benefits of the 24/7 Sobriety Program, not only to the arrestee, but to their family and the public as well. The defendant’s parents, spouses, and children are safer, the public is safer, the defendant will spend less time is jail, treatment prospects improve, and there is almost no cost to the taxpayer.

Does the Program Work?

Since the implementation of the program in 2008, the state of North Dakota has seen impressive success rates. As of February 1, 2015, there had been 10,214 total participants, 1,687 of which were active, 6,287 have graduated, 1,681 failed, and only 559 had re-offended.

The North Dakota State Government website has a lot of information to help you learn more about North Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Program. If you or anyone you know has questions or concerns about a recent DUI arrest, contact the experienced criminal law attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss. We’re always here to help.

Image courtesy of RayNata/Wikipedia.

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