In 2013, Washington created the “24/7 Sobriety Program.” The 24/7 program—implemented in some areas in 2014—was set up for DUI offenders as an alternative to incarceration. The idea is that you don't need to keep DUI offenders behind bars if you can monitor them for alcohol and drug use. Through the 24/7 program, Washington aims to:
According to the state, in the places where 24/7 has been used, the program has gotten good results.
Alcohol and drug testing is the main feature of the 24/7 program. When ordering an offender to participate in 24/7, courts have several testing options that include:
Whatever form of testing the court orders, the participant will be responsible for paying the costs. Everyone pays an enrollment fee of $30, and the costs of testing vary depending on the type of test.
Participants in the 24/7 program who test positive for drugs or alcohol, don’t pay program costs or fees, or break other rules face arrest and penalties. The consequences for violations are:
Courts also have the option of kicking a participant out of the program for noncompliance.
The law allows judges to order the 24/7 program for anyone who is arrested for or convicted of driving or being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For those who’ve been arrested for a DUI offense, but not yet convicted, a judge can order 24/7 participation as a condition for pretrial release from jail.
However, a judge’s ability to order 24/7 might be limited by the availability of the program in the relevant area.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI and have questions about the 24/7 Sobriety Program, talk to a Washington DUI attorney. A local DUI lawyer should be able to fill you in on the details of the program and let you know if 24/7 is available in your area.