Friday, August 15, 2008

Drunk Driving Diversion Programs

KFYR.com is reporting


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ A 12-COUNTY PROGRAM AIMED AT REPEAT
DRUNKEN DRIVERS HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR EIGHT MONTHS NOW. ATTORNEY GENERAL WAYNE
STENEHJEM SAYS THE RESULTS ARE GOOD.
STENEHJEM SPOKE TO A LEGISLATIVE
COMMITTEE ABOUT THE PROGRAM -- AT A MEETING IN DICKINSON.
IT REQUIRES SOMEONE
WHO'S BEEN ARRESTED FOR DRUNKEN DRIVING FOR A SECOND TIME WITHIN 10 YEARS TO
AGREE TO TAKE A BREATH TEST TWICE A DAY -- TO STAY OUT OF JAIL.
IF THEY FLUNK
A TEST -- THEY GO RIGHT TO JAIL, AND THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO GET OUT AGAIN UNTIL
THEY APPEAR BEFORE A JUDGE.
STENEHJEM SAYS 52 OF THE 96 PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAKEN
PART IN THE PROGRAM SO FAR HAVE COMPLETED IT WITHOUT FAILING. OFFICIALS SAY A
DOZEN PEOPLE FAILED.
HANKINSON SENATOR JOEL HEITKAMP IS CHAIRMAN OF THE
LEGISLATURE'S INTERIM COMMISSION ON ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION. HE BELIEVES
THE LEGISLATURE WILL SUPPORT EXPANDING THE PROGRAM.



Since there are too many people in this country that think a tree and a rope is a bit extreme for drunk drivers this program does show some promise in working in cutting recidivism rates of alckies trying to kill innocent people.

I have been to Victim Impact Panels where victims speak to those that have been sentenced because of their illegal activity where mom's presentation has deeply effected those in attendance. Speaking from anecdotal experience she only has had 20 repeat offenders out of the 1000s she has spoken too.

While no program is perfect anything that helps keeps the roads safe and the cost to the tax payer to a minimum is a good program. I'm hoping the state expands these programs and keeps the innovation because innocents shouldn't have to pay for the selfishness of criminals.

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