24/7 Sobriety Program Received National Recognition
PIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Larry Long’s 24/7 Sobriety Program was recognized this past weekend at the Council of State Government’s national meeting in Omaha. The 24/7 Sobriety Program was selected as one of eight programs nationwide for its innovative concept. Attorney General Long was invited to attend the meeting to share his best practices with other states.
The Council of State Government is in its 23rd year of recognizing exemplary programs in state government. Each year hundreds of applications are submitted and the winners are based on evaluations by state government officials.
Attorney General Long introduced the program in January 2005 as a pilot project in three counties. It has since been expanded into 57 counties. Defendants arrested for second offense drunk driving or any felony are required to stay sober. Those offenders are required to submit to a twice a day breath test to demonstrate their sobriety and avoid jail. The program also offers alternative testing including the SCRAM bracelet, drug patch and drug urinalysis. These alternatives are for those offenders that are not able to get to a testing facility twice a day. Nearly 2000 defendants in South Dakota currently participate in the 24/7 Sobriety Program.