The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is rolling out a pilot program in the western part of the state for those considered “high-risk” DWI/DUI offenders. The “Booze It and Lose It” program could eventually make its way across the state, according to the head of the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program
The program involves the use of continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM) bracelets, which are like electronic monitoring ankle bracelets used for people on house arrest to track their location. However, CAM bracelets can also detect alcohol in the wearer’s perspiration.
State leaders hope to reduce traffic deaths from drunk driving
The plan is to require people who have been arrested for DWI/DUI and are awaiting a court date to wear a CAM bracelet if they’re considered at high risk of driving drunk in the meantime. One assistant district attorney says the goal of the program is to “identify high-risk offenders and make sure that we increase their accountability and, hopefully, lower recidivism.”
Some North Carolina lawmakers and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are hoping that the program reduces drunk driving in the seven pilot counties so they can seek money to roll it out across the state.
Those behind the pilot, which is set to run for twelve months in all, with some adjustments after the first six months, say that’s not just about monitoring people’s alcohol use but also offering more treatment options. The main goal is to prevent drunk driving, which is becoming an increasing problem on North Carolina roads. The number of fatal crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs rose from 463 in 2018 to 503 in 2021.
They can also be a condition of probation
These devices can also be required as a condition of probation for some people who have been convicted of DWI/DUI. However, they’re currently ordered primarily for those with high-level or multiple convictions.
As long as impaired driving continues to be a problem in North Carolina, the consequences of an arrest or conviction will likely become more serious. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, it’s wise to have legal guidance to help protect your rights and mitigate the consequences.