Home / 24/7 Sobriety Program
Law and policy makers responded with a list of changes to the Montana legal code, all aimed at ending Montana’s “culture of drinking and driving.” Some changes were monumental: Like banning for the first time open containers of alcohol in moving vehicles.
But Montanans continued to read news stories and watch television reports about Montanans getting their fourth, fifth, sixth DUIs – or more. We continued hearing the tragic stories of the cost of repeat, drinking and driving: Children left parentless, parents burying a child, two Highway Patrol troopers killed in a span of months, leaving behind families and friends.
Against this backdrop, the Attorney General’s Office proposed the Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program in March of 2010. The program was initially run as a pilot in Lewis and Clark County.
Under the program, people accused of their second or subsequent drunken driving offense can be ordered by a judge to take twice-daily alcohol breath tests as a condition of their release from jail pending trial. Or they may be ordered to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet. Some offenders can also be sentenced to the program if they plead or are found guilty of DUI.
The results out of Lewis and Clark County were astounding: Out of thousands of tests administered, more than 99 percent came back clean. Offenders were staying clean.
The program is structured to have the offender pay the cost of the monitoring, so the program is essentially free to counties and taxpayers.
Buoyed by the success of the pilot program, the Attorney General’s Office took the idea to the 2011 Legislature. Rep. Steve Lavin, R-Kalispell, and a sergeant in the Montana Highway Patrol who had seen two of his co-workers and friends killed by drinking and driving, carried the bill.
With broad, bi-partisan support, House Bill 106 passed and was signed into law by Gov. Brian Schweitzer in May of 2011.
The Attorney General’s Office has continued to play an important role in helping counties launch the program. Currently, 53 counties are running the program and more have attended Attorney General’s Office training to launch their own programs soon.The statewide statistics continue to be enormously positive: Over 680,000 twice daily tests have been administered, with a 99.7% success rate.
The program verifies what Montana judges have consistently required of DUI defendants – that they stay out of bars and places where alcohol is served and that they abstain from drinking. The 24/7 Program verifies that offenders are complying with judges orders.
It is simple, low-cost and effective.
This office has heard other success stories – stories from offenders in the program who report that 24/7 has helped them be accountable and more effective as parents and citizens.
The office of Attorney General Fox partnered with the Montana Highway Patrol to host the first-ever National 24/7 Sobriety Program Conference at Big Sky, September 13-15, 2015. Approximately 200 people attended from across the continental United States as well as the Northern Mariana Islands; among those in attendance were seven Attorneys General.
In November 2012, the Rand Corporation published a study in the Journal of American Health which indicated South Dakota saw a 12% reduction in recidivism rates for DUI offenses, and a 9% reduction in recidivism rates for domestic violence offenses following adoption of the 24/7 Sobriety Program. Montana, which implemented the program in 2011, reported a 30% decrease in alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities in 2013, while at the same time, overall highway fatalities increased by approximately 10%.
Montana currently has 39 counties participating in the 24/7 Sobriety Program utilizing twice daily testing and/or SCRAM testing methods. Over 680,000 twice daily tests have been administered, with a 99.7% success rate. The program works because it provides offenders with consistent monitoring, clear expectations, and immediate accountability for any infraction.
States using the 24/7 Sobriety Program include: Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Alaska. States which have a pilot program implemented include: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Georgia. States that are authorized and ready to implement a pilot program include: Washington, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Florida.
The Montana Department of Justice looks forward to more opportunities to share information about this award-winning program. For questions regarding future 24/7 Summits, contact Kristin Banchero at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Montana’s 24/7 Sobriety Program, contact Sergeant Lacie Wickum at email@example.com.
The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.Enter
The Children’s Justice Bureau is an agency-wide initiative at the Montana Department of Justice dedicated to IMPROVING how we respond to child victims, DEVELOPING state-of-the-art approaches by keeping up with the newest research and, most importantly, HELPING child victims recover and move on with their lives.Enter
The mission of the Montana Forensic Science Division is to use operationally efficient and financially responsible practices as the laboratory provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analyses to the criminal justice community in order to maximize value to the citizens of Montana.Enter
The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice. In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement.Enter
The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.Enter
The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.Enter
Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and local and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.Enter
The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Montana Department of Justice is involved in many aspects of Montana law enforcement and is integral to the Department of Justice’s mission of promoting public safety.Enter
Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.Enter
The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.Enter
The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.Enter
The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.Enter
The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.Enter
Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.Enter
Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.Enter
The Montana Department of Justice has a continued commitment to victims of human trafficking. In partnership with federal authorities, our agency plays a key role in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking in Montana. This form of modern day slavery does happen here in Big Sky Country.Enter
Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.Enter
When it comes to embracing new technology, kids have rapidly outpaced their parents and teachers. By their early school years, many children are already more comfortable on the Internet than their parents. But just because children are smart enough to know how to navigate the Internet, doesn’t mean they have the experience to make good decisions about some of the possibilities they may face online.Enter
Created by the Montana Department of Justice in 1989, the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is a valuable resource for Montanans to protect their families against sexual or violent offenders.Enter
Drinking and driving has been a chronic – and deadly — problem on Montana’s roadways for decades. In 2008, Montana was ranked as the deadliest state in the nation when it came to per capita DUI-related traffic fatalities.Enter
Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.Enter