Nearly every hour, someone dies in an impaired driving crash in the U.S. Mothers Against Drunk Driving believes stronger laws can bring down the death rate.READ MORE: Parole Recommended For Manson Family Member Patricia Krenwinkel; Previously Denied 14 Times
In California, the group wants to see an ignition interlock device be issued for all DUI offenses. The technology prevents people from driving if they’ve been drinking.
“Our State Capitol is right here in Sacramento and we’re having these crashes on our news almost on a daily basis and we can’t seem to get the attention that I think it deserves,” said Rhonda Campbell, a victim advocate for the group.
However, a program being used by multiple states is gaining attention. It’s called 24/7 Sobriety. Instead of taking away a person’s right to drive, it takes away their right to drink.
“It’s really targeted at individuals whose alcohol use has led to them repeatedly threatening public health and public safety,” said Beau Kilmer, the director of the Drug Policy Research Center for the RAND Corporation.
The think-tank has evaluated the program for over a decade.
People must do daily breathalyzer tests or wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet – anywhere from six to 18 months. If people skip or fail a test, then immediate consequences may mean a night or two in jail.READ MORE: Hundreds Of Sick And Dying Brown Pelicans Are Being Found In California
Three rural states including Montana have adopted it statewide and have seen it work.
In a Montana Deptartment of Justice video, it claims it performed more than 50,000 tests while boasting a 99.7 percent compliance rate in the first year it implemented the program.
But compliance is only half the equation for change.
“We’ve found evidence that the program is associated with a reduction of in a repeat drunk driving arrests, a reduction in domestic violence arrest,” Kilmer said.
A study shows a 12 percent decrease in repeat drunk driving arrests and a nine percent drop in domestic violence arrests.
While researchers tout the concept, questions remain.MORE NEWS: Camel, Exotic Birds Among Animals Rescued From Sutter County Property; 2 People Suspected Of Animal Abuse
“The big question is will this work in a more urban environment?” Kilmer said. “And, places that have a lot more traffic.”