Skip to comments.A Simple Fix for Drunken Driving
Posted on 08/15/2015 9:33:07 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
A decade ago, as attorney general of South Dakota, Larry Long saw the need for a more direct approach and launched a program called 24/7 Sobriety. I first encountered 24/7 Sobriety five years ago, and it confounded much of what I had learned in my years as an addiction-treatment professional.
On a clear South Dakota morning, I found myself in a Sioux Falls police station, waiting for more than a hundred repeat offenders to appear for court-mandated appointments. They had to blow into a breathalyzer to prove that they had not been drinking. I expected that many wouldnt show up; I felt sure that many of those who did show up would be intoxicatedand the rest would be surly.
But every single offender trooped peacefully by, chatted briefly with a friendly officer, blew a negative test and went on his or her way. This was remarkable and new to me, particularly because it was almost absurdly simple.
Offenders in 24/7 Sobriety can drive all they want to, but they are under a court order not to drink. Every morning and evening, for an average of five months, they visit a police facility to take a breathalyzer test. Unlike most consequences imposed by the criminal justice system, the penalties for noncompliance are swift, certain and modest. Drinking results in mandatory arrest, with a night or two in jail as the typical penalty.
The results have been stunning. Since 2005, the program has administered more than 7 million breathalyzer tests to over 30,000 participants. Offenders have both showed up and passed the test at a rate of over 99%.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...
Dr. Humphreys is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a former senior policy adviser in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has been an unpaid adviser to government officials interested in adopting 24/7 SobrietyThis is excerpted, as I assume is necessary. The whole article is important, if it pans out the way it looks.
The program it describes seems to work on a principle which also relates to criminal behavior and other addictions than alcohol, as well. Namely, that penalties dont have to be draconian but they do have to be swift and sure. And I wonder if the signal benefits of having a father rather than just a single mom might not relate to the added swiftness and sureness - not severity - of discipline.
I was impressed by the article.
If it’s this effective for drinkers, it might also work for druggies. Pass a piss test, you’re fine. Fail and jail.
Ha ha ha ha no.
Interesting. Seems like a good plan.
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I can relate. I found the article in the dead-tree Journal, and found the whole article by searching for the title.
I just hated to excerpt the thing, because this sounds like a possible game-changer for more than one social problem.
Reminds me of an Adams family
cartoon, a person driving down the highway
passing a sign that says “Drunk driving laws
And hanging from each light pole was a drunk driver
in a human shaped cage.
That's where all of the reasons are.
I dont know how to argue with that.
There should be a rule: no WSJ-based threads unless the poster gives a synopsis of the entire article.
Maybe the visits could start out the way the article describes - and after a month or so they could visit a local clinic or something. But if this system works, fixing it should IMHO be done with caution.
Just as long as they draw the line at chocoholics.
I’m not registering with the WSJ. Chamber of Commerce whore.
...except for ones like this which is not an excerpt.
I fixed it.
I quit drinking and the problem no longer existed. Plus I’m seldom out and around when the bulk of the drunk driving is going on.
Off topic, but in my fave Addams cartoon the family watches a wild thunderstorm through the living room window. Skies darken, rain spatters down, winds are whipping the trees, lightning is crashing everywhere, and Gomez Addams smiles & says,
“This is one of those days that just makes you feel good to be alive!”
I've said for a long time that a focus on drunk driving may not be a wise use of law-enforcement resources. I'd much prefer that governments address any problems with bad drivers, period -- regardless of what else is going on with them.
If its this effective for drinkers, it might also work for druggies. Pass a piss test, youre fine. Fail and jail.
But we dare link drug / alcohol test to if they get an EBT/SNAP and we are called racist...
When it could EASILY be argued that driving is more of a right than EBT/SNAP.
Synopsis: the system works great, reduces other alcohol related problems by about 10%, and a version of it has been tried for some cocaine users and seems to be helpful. And maybe drunks dont necessarily need shrinks.
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