Attorney General Fox and Montana Highway Patrol to Hold First National Conference Targeting Repeat DUIs
The Attorney General’s Office and the Montana Highway Patrol announced today they will host the first ever National 24/7 Sobriety Program Summit, September 13-15 in Big Sky. The event, endorsed by both the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), will bring together leading industry experts and law enforcement officials to highlight and discuss all aspects of this award-winning sobriety program.
The 24/7 Sobriety Program originated in South Dakota ten years ago and is based on a very simple premise: A judge can order anyone accused of his or her second or subsequent DUI offense to submit to twice-daily alcohol breath tests or wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet as a condition of release prior to trial or as part of sentencing post-conviction. The defendant must incur all costs associated with monitoring.
“The 24/7 Sobriety Program has a proven track record in Montana of holding offenders accountable,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “Since 2011, over 579, 000 tests have been given to program participants, with a 99.7% success rate. I invite the public to learn more about how this program changes behaviors, all at no additional cost to the taxpayer.” Most Montanans live in counties where the 24/7 program is active; currently, 23 Montana counties are enrolled. Last year, a Rand Corporation study indicated that participation in the 24/7 program reduced the probability of DUI re-arrest in Montana by 45% to 70%.
The Montana Highway Patrol is coordinating the National 24/7 Summit. Colonel Tom Butler, Chief Administrator of the Montana Highway Patrol, said, “The conference will trace the history of the program, approaches to crime and addiction, discuss the research surrounding the program and show other agencies how they, too, can implement it successfully.”
Scheduled speakers include Judge Larry Long, founder of the 24/7 Sobriety Program; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Director Bill Watada; Attorney General Tim Fox; and Colonel Tom Butler, Chief Administrator of the Montana Highway Patrol.