PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's sobriety program for drunken drivers has reduced repeat cases of driving under the influence by 12 percent and domestic violence rates by 9 percent, an independent study concluded.
The 24/7 Sobriety Program was started in 2005, giving people convicted of alcohol-related crimes a chance to stay out of jail as long as they were monitored daily for alcohol use. The study of the first six years done by the RAND Corp. and funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is the first to look at results of the program that has since spread to North Dakota and Montana.
"The results suggest that frequent alcohol testing with swift, certain and modest sanctions for violations can reduce problem drinking and improve public health outcomes," said Dr. Beau Kilmer, the lead author of the study.
Attorney General Marty Jackley on Thursday released the study that the Argus Leader newspaper said also was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Public Health.
The program requires repeat DUI offenders and others whose crimes are alcohol-related to take twice-daily breath tests to prove their sobriety or to wear alcohol-monitoring bracelets or test through an interlock device installed on their vehicle's ignition system.
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