DUI sobriety program approved by Clallam commissioners

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners have unanimously approved an agreement with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and Friendship Diversion Services to provide a 24-hour sobriety program to repeat drunken driving offenders.

The three commissioners accepted the agreement Tuesday.

The county was selected for a state pilot project. It is among four counties and two cities statewide chosen to establish and maintain the pilot program through June 2015.

The 24-hour sobriety program, which was established by the state Legislature, would require a repeat driving-under-the-influence offender to pay a $30 enrollment fee and subsequent nominal fees to take breath tests or other sobriety tests twice a day in lieu of jail time.

All offenders would be eligible to enter the program in lieu of jail if the court finds there is probable cause to believe that the use of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs contributed to the criminal conduct for which the person is charged, according to the agreement.

The offender would be sent back to jail if he or she registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.02 percent or higher.

The legal driving limit in Washington is 0.08 percent.

The program would be voluntary.

Commissioners had intended to approve the agreement in July but postponed their approval to give county law enforcement officials more time to work out details.

The program was first in use in South Dakota in 2004 as a pilot project and since has been used in North Dakota, Idaho and Montana.

Clallam County contracts with Friendship Diversion for electronic home monitoring for criminal cases.

Friendship Diversion would be contracted to provide drug and alcohol testing to offenders.

Spokane and Pierce counties are also considering participation in the state pilot project.

Centralia is the only city that has enacted the program, while the Kent in King County and Chelan County declined to participate.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsula
dailynews.com.

Last modified: August 12. 2014 7:40PM
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