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South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long and Bill Mickelson, Program Manager Awarded the John. P. McGovern Award for 24/7 Sobriety Project

South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long and Bill Mickelson, Program Manager Awarded the John. P. McGovern Award for 24/7 Sobriety Project

PIERRE, S.D.-  Attorney General Larry Long and Bill Mickelson, Program Manager for the 24/7 Program,  were recently awarded the John P. McGovern Award for their work and dedication to the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program. The John P. McGovern Award is given by the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., a non-profit organization, for outstanding contributions to the prevention of drug abuse.  Driving While Impaired (DWI) leads to 1.4 million arrests each year in the United States, the second most common reason for arrest. Each one of those DWI arrests is a valuable opportunity to improve highway safety and to improve the health of offenders, an opportunity that is all too often missed. 

The McGovern Award was given on June 30, 2009 in Washington, D.C. to South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long and program manager Bill Mickelson for their sustained pioneering work with the 24/7 Sobriety Project. Their commitment to the goal for DWI offenders of abstinence from alcohol and illegal drugs while under supervision, as opposed to the more common objective in DWI cases of not driving drunk or high on drugs, has dramatically changed the way DWI is managed. The 24/7 Sobriety Project’s no-use model of management not only makes monitoring of offenders practical but it also helps offenders reclaim their lives from alcohol and other drug abuse. The use of intensive monitoring linked to swift, certain, but relatively mild, sanctions by 24/7 Sobriety Project improves highway safety and the public health. While critics of the 24/7 Sobriety Project claimed that the program would fill the jails the result was just the opposite. This innovative, practical, relatively low cost-program cut down both DWI recidivism and incarceration in South Dakota. The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Project has great promise for other states and localities throughout the nation.

For additional information about this award or the 24/7 Program, contact Sara Rabern at 605-773-3215.