S.D. AG releases testing results for ignition interlock device

PIERRE, S.D. (Legal Newsline) - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley released the testing results Monday for the use of ignition interlock devices, which were added to the 24/7 Sobriety Program in October.

Since the devices were added to the program, 119 participants passed 124,771 tests with a pass rate of 99.5 percent. Ignition interlock devices are installed in motor vehicles and require the offender to first exhale into the device to produce a clean test before the vehicle's motor can be started.

"The 24/7 Sobriety Program has shown to be an effective means to combat drunk driving using technological advances such as the ignition interlock device," Jackley said. "This offender pay program takes the burden off taxpayers by keeping qualifying offenders out of jail yet holding them accountable for their actions. This in turn can have a long term positive impact on their lives, their families and their employers."

The ignition interlock system is equipped with a camera to detect if someone other than the offender is testing and a GPS to pinpoint the offender's location on a map for each test. The offender must test twice a day, whether or not he or she drives the vehicle that day.

An added feature on the system requires a retest within the first few minutes after the vehicle is moving with additional retests at random intervals while the vehicle stays in motion.

In 2005, Jackley's office implemented the 24/7 Sobriety Program as a pilot program in three counties. In 2007, the state legislature unanimously approved the program, which includes the participation of 67 state agencies.

In addition to using ignition interlock devices, the program also uses secure continuous remote alcohol monitor ankle bracelets, preliminary breath tests, drug urinalysis and drug patches.

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