America is currently experiencing a shift in the criminal justice system in terms of how defendants who are accused of crimes involving drugs and alcohol are treated. For years, many state legislatures took the approach of simply making the punishment for these types of crimes more severe, apparently in an effort to deter people from getting involved in situations involving the illegal use of alcohol or drugs. But, in recent months, the national conversation has turned more toward an approach that recognizes that some people who have been arrested for crimes involving drugs or alcohol have a dependency problem - a problem that needs to be addressed in a different way than just throwing the defendants in jail for longer periods of time.
According to a recent report, the legislature here in Wisconsin is moving a bill forward that would address the sobriety issues of those who are arrested on drunk driving charges. The bill is a statewide effort based on a program that has reportedly seen success in Winnebago County. The bill would allow criminal courts to order drunk driving defendants into a "24-7" sobriety program, where a defendant's sobriety is tested at least twice per day.
The bill is a measure that goes beyond "cracking down" on drunk drivers. It also recognizes that to reduce recidivism - or the chances of a defendant engaging in drunk driving multiple times - some defendants need assistance maintaining their sobriety.
For Wisconsin residents who are facing DUI charges, this new option may be appealing. It is just one of many different options that may be available for anyone who has been charged with drunk driving. Those who would like to learn more about the criminal defense options available to them should consider contacting a legal professional.
Source: The Cap Times, "Wisconsin bill would allow some drunk driving offenders to participate in 24-7 sobriety program," Jessie Opoien, March 1, 2016