About 800 Drinkers Off the Road for Less Cost Than One DUI Checkpoint

North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford unveils the state Department of Transportation's new sober ride program at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Bismarck. (Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service)

MINOT, N.D. — When it comes to drunk driving, many North Dakotans prefer a throw-the-book-at-them approach.

Our elected policymakers have obliged them.

During their 2013 session, lawmakers raised the fines for DUI convictions and created a new aggravated DUI charge for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders also see tougher charges. Minimum jail times were upped as well. Lawmakers even implemented what’s called the 24/7 sobriety program for the most egregious offenders.

Under that program, offenders must show up to get tested for sobriety by law enforcement daily.

The result? “The percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes increased annually between 2015 and 2017,” North Dakota’s Vision Zero campaign tells us. “Following these increases, the percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes decreased again in 2018, but rose again in 2019.”

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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