South Dakota AG Releases Results of Sobriety Program

May 23, 2013

About 120 people have taken nearly 125,000 sobriety tests using an ignition interlock device as part of South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Program since it became available for use in October, South Dakota’s attorney general announced Monday.

Attorney General Marty Jackley said participants using the ignition interlock devices passed with a 99.5 percent rate.

The ignition interlock device is installed in a motor vehicle, and a defender is required to test twice a day, whether they drive the vehicle or not. Participants must pay for the devices.

“The 24/7 Sobriety Program has shown to be an effective means to combat drunk driving using technological advances such as the ignition interlock device,” Jackley said. “This offender pay program takes the burden off taxpayers by keeping qualifying offenders out of jail yet holding them accountable for their actions. This in turn can have a long-term positive impact on their lives, their families and their employers.”

Participants in the program must pay for the ignition interlock device, which has a daily average cost of $4.25 for a six-month time frame. This compares to $6.44 per day for an alcohol ankle monitoring bracelet, $2 for a twice-a-day breath test, $10 per drug urinalysis test and $4 per day for a drug patch.

The 24/7 Sobriety Program was started as a pilot project in 2005 in three South Dakota counties. In 2007, the state Legislature approved creating a formal program. Currently, 67 agencies are participating in the program.

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