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Senate Bill 1813 titled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)”, a two-year, $109 billion plan, was passed March 14 by the U.S. Senate. The bill reauthorizes the Federal-aid highway program.

Included in the bill are numerous impaired driving countermeasures for which states can receive annual incentive grants (410 grants) to adopt and implement effective programs to reduce driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or the combination of the two. Such countermeasures include, but are not limited to, high visibility enforcement programs, DWI courts,  traffic safety resource prosecutors, establishing driving while intoxicated courts, and alcohol ignition interlock programs. The Senate also added “costs associated with a 24-7 Sobriety Program”.

Under the 24-7 Program model, repeat DUI offenders are either tested twice-daily for alcohol through a supervised breath test or wear an electronic continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM) bracelet. The majority of testing is offender paid, although there may be support from a state indigent fund. If an offender fails or misses a breath test or has a confirmed drinking or tamper event while wearing a CAM bracelet s/he is swiftly escorted to the local jail.

The results of South Dakota’s 24-7 Sobriety Program, which began in 2005, have been astounding and include:

  • Reduced recidivism
  • Improved public safety
  • Allowed offenders to remain in the community and remain employed
  • Reduced jail populations
  • Saved millions in tax dollars in incarceration costs alone

“If you miss or fail you go to jail” is the tagline from South Dakota Judge and former South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long, who started that state’s program in 2005. Other states such as North Dakota and Montana have recently followed South Dakota’s lead with implementation of statewide 24-7 Sobriety Programs.

The Senate and the House transportation bills are very different, making it impossible to know what the final provisions will be once the bills are reconciled. If impaired driving and highway safety is important to you, I encourage you to contact your local Senate and House representatives in support of these important bills.

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.


  1. Many individuals convicted of DUI assume it will not cost much to either represent themselves in court or hire an attorney. But with court orders, fees and hearings, the cost can mount quickly, adding up to $10,000. According to Alaska’s government page from the Division of Motor Vehicles, the average cost of a first DUI is $24,265 and perhaps 3 days in jail. This countermeasure just added is a great choice on the Senates end.

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