According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a person with one or more prior DUI/DWI offenses is 4.1x more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash, making those with repeat alcohol offenses dangerous to a community. While 2/3 of those arrested for drunk or impaired driving only commit one offense, the remainder go on to reoffend.
But, courts and agencies across the country are using alcohol monitoring technologies to create sustainable, outcome-driven programs to support long-term behavior change in repeat alcohol clients.
How Local Jurisdictions Use Technology to Address Alcohol Recidivism
Through the collaboration of local law enforcement, judges, and specialty courts, developing and implementing a repeat alcohol program can be a successful step in reducing alcohol-involved crimes.
Repeat alcohol programs are criteria-based local initiatives that use alcohol monitoring technologies to curb alcohol-involved recidivism, including repeat DUIs and domestic violence.
Technologies such as continuous alcohol monitoring and remote breathalyzers not only alert authorities when a participant has consumed alcohol, but also act as another element of treatment and rehabilitation by keeping repeat alcohol clients accountable for their actions. Programs using these devices as parole or probationary options can also incentivize participants to not reoffend while providing cost-savings for local jurisdictions.
San Joaquin, CA Reduced Repeat Alcohol Offenses
San Joaquin County had one of the highest rates of repeat DUI offenses in California until 2008 when the San Joaquin DUI Monitoring Court (SJDMC) was implemented. The SJDMC requires any individual convicted of a second or subsequent DUI to participate in the track-based program. The program not only acts as a method of supervision but also a diagnostic tool to assess the needs of the county’s repeat alcohol client population.
Using a mix of SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring® (SCRAM CAM®), SCRAM Remote Breath®, impaired driver education, and other rehabilitative treatment, the SJDMC successfully reduced the county’s repeat client population by 19% since 2012, and annual DUI arrests by 66% since the program’s inception.
York County, PA Decreased Repeat DUIs by 90%
In 2011, the Honorable Judge S. Kennedy of the York County, PA Court of Common Pleas discovered that many of the county’s DUI defendants were committing additional drunk-driving offenses before they even appeared for trial for their first arrest. Noticing that 25% of the court’s DUI docket involved repeat alcohol offenses, Judge Kennedy implemented the Target 25 Program.
Any suspected drunk driver found to have a previous DUI conviction is placed in the Target 25 program, which includes being fitted with a SCRAM CAM bracelet and added RF house arrest as needed.
By using SCRAM CAM technology as a form of treatment, jail alternative, and even an assessment tool, the county successfully reduced the occurrence of pretrial DUI recidivism by 90% and alcohol-involved crashes resulting in injury or death by 21% in 2013.
Creating a Repeat Alcohol Program
Whether you want to follow the processes and criteria of a specific program model like Target 25 or create your own repeat alcohol program to fit the unique needs of your community, we have put together some helpful resources for you to get started.
Take a look at our Repeat Alcohol Program page, where you can find program implementations guides, sample legislation, case studies, statistics, and more.