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According to officials in York County, Pennsylvania, in any given year, 125 drunk drivers are responsible for 600 DUI arrests. That statistic does a good job of illustrating what we know about the Hardcore Drunk Driver: That they’re dangerous, and that they are struggling with alcohol dependence and addiction.

Both the York Daily Record and news affiliate WPMT have taken a closer look at how York County officials are dealing with the epidemic. Working together, courts, probation, and the DAs office are closing the gap from arrest to supervision for drunk drivers with a previous offense who are arrested for another DUI. Repeat offenders are very often re-arrested soon after a DUI, a cycle of self-destruction driven by alcohol dependence. So instead of allowing repeat offenders who have a new DUI to drive unmonitored in the community for months while they await adjudication of their current offense, officials are requiring them to be monitored for alcohol 24/7 immediately following arrest.

The trend isn’t limited to York County. Lackawanna is reported by WPMT to be another Pennsylvania county that monitors repeat offenders pre-trial for alcohol. And states like North Carolina are passing legislation requiring Continuous Alcohol Monitoring pre-trial for repeat offenders. The tactic is part of a paradigm shift that is focusing resources on the Hardcore Drunk Drivers, working to control and address the addiction that is at the root of the criminal behavior.

According to York County Judge John S. Kennedy, they absolutely believe the tactic is reducing DUIs, since “very few” of the people they’ve monitored have had another DUI.

Way to Make a Difference, York, PA!

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. While I agree that drunk driving is of utmost concern, the current new system of ankle bracelet monitoring swings too far in the direction of big brother anti- constitutionality and privacy infringement. Being able to discern between having 1 drink in one’s own house after a long day, and attempting to operate a motor vehicle after 5 or 6 at a local bar is quite a different scenario. Not to mention not even being able to use hand sanitizer or 99% of every cosmetic, shampoo, deodorant or other like products without fear of being carted off to jail. Couple the ankle monitoring with house arrest, constantly drug screenings which require offenders to somehow find transportation to and from the courthouse as often as 3 times a week and prohibitive fines, meetings with the judge, constant phone calls an check ins with a probation officer and what you essentially have is a system designed to fail for all but the most resource rich defendants. Also quite disturbing is the requirement by offenders to treat their mistake/inopportune decision to drive after a few drinks within 10 years of their last DUI, as alcoholism. This new program requires mandatory Alcoholics Anonymous daily meetings for the first 90 days, and then 3-4 weekly for the next months. Again, putting extreme pressure on the ability of an offender to find transportation in a county that doesn’t offer much in the way of public transport. Not to mention force feeding the view of drinking as a disease which requires constant reprogramming. All in all, a severe case of judicial overreaching and excessive punitive measures which WILL result in failure of most individuals without means in the program.

  2. The above statement is very true. The legal system has a person set up for failure unless one has an excessive amount of income to comply with the many requirements of the program. Often resulting in a technical violation and additional detention time, thus creating the opposite effect on the correctional system of being overburden. Most counties do not pro-rate the cost of the monitoring equipment by income levels, which creates social economic injustice.

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