LETTER: DUI Program Will Save Lives

By Beacon Staff

On behalf of the Montana Common Sense Coalition, I applaud Steve Bullock, Montana’s attorney general, for bringing forth meaningful DUI prevention legislation. It is our hope that legislators will follow Bullock’s lead and use the 2011 legislative session as an opportunity to address Montana’s serious DUI problem. 


One of the data-driven policy solutions being proposed by the Attorney General is the 24/7 Sobriety Program. This program is designed to keep convicted DUI offenders, charged with a second DUI offense, from reoffending by requiring them to provide a breath sample twice a day. According to university professors from Stanford and UCLA, veterans of the 24/7 Sobriety Program are half as likely as other DUI offenders to be arrested again. When the program was implemented in South Dakota, drunken driving fatalities were cut in half – going from 70 in one year to 34 two years later. The cost of the program is minimal and paid by the offender, not the state.
 As the Legislature looks for ways to address DUI in Montana, serious consideration needs to be given to implementing the 24/7 Sobriety Program statewide. It is a cost-effective tool for reducing drunk driving by high-risk offenders. It comes with a proven track record and will undoubtedly save lives.

John Larsen
Chair, Montana Commons Sense Coalition
Whitehall

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