Attorney General Spokesman States a “Clear Victory” For 24/7 Sobriety Program
Today, July 30, the Montana Supreme Court ruled to uphold the 24/7 Sobriety Program which requires repeat offenders to take breath tests twice a day rather than going to jail.
"This was a clear victory," Montana Attorney General’s Office Spokesman John Barnes said. "All justices on the court agreed that the program is constitutional and effective. This is just really exciting news because the 24/7 program is really a proven accountability mechanism for holding repeat offenders accountable and preventing repeat DUIs. Its one very important tool in our tool bag as we try to compact the DUI here in Montana."
Barnes claims this was not only a big win for Montana, but that other states may have benefited from watching the case as well.
"I have no doubt that states were paying attention to this," Barnes said. "I think the law enforcement community in general is pleased with this because they know first hand that 24/7 is really a great program."
According to a synopsis released by the court, “the Supreme Court held that requiring individuals accused, but not convicted of, repeat drunk driving offenses to submit to daily breath tests and pay the associated fees does not violate their due process rights and is not pretrial punishment in violation of the Constitution.”
Governor Steve Bullock had a positive response to the ruling as well.
“When it came to repeat DUI offenders, Montana had been doing the same thing for decades and expecting different results," Bullock said. "As Attorney General, I led the effort to build the 24/7 Program, and worked with a bipartisan coalition of legislators and law enforcement to expand it statewide. Today’s ruling will ensure that this program continues to save lives, make our highways safer, and hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions.”
Currently, 24 Montana Counties use a sobriety program, and the Attorney General's Office is processing 6 more counties to add to the system as well.