Posted: Oct 3, 2012 10:30 AM by Katy Harris - MTN News
Updated: Oct 3, 2012 10:35 AM
BUTTE- A sobriety program used in Butte-Silver Bow County has been so successful that only 47 breathalyzer tests have failed out of 12,000.
Every morning and evening repeat DUI offenders on the 24/7 program come to the Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center, and has been used at the Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center for about a year now.
Repeat DUI offenders can be placed on the program in exchange for a bail reduction, but the individual is required to take a breathalyzer test twice a day.
If they blow zeroes and show no alcohol in their system they can leave and go about their day, but if any traces of alcohol show up, the individual is arrested on the spot and placed into custody.
Sheriff John Walsh says the program has been very successful in preventing drinking and driving in Butte-Silver Bow County.
"The idea is that those people are no longer out there being a danger to our citizens. I think it's a fabulous thing that's working very well. I think what we're doing is we're keeping a lot of people that might be out there again drinking and driving off the roads."
Normally if a person is in custody at the detention center, the county would be responsible for medical care costs while that person is incarcerated. But since an individual is released from the detention center while on the 24/7 program, the county would not be responsible for medical care costs.
The county would've had to pay $8,000 for one man's medical costs, but he was instead placed on the 24/7 program. Officials say about 70 residents have used the program.