New Sobriety Technology Option


A new law is adding more tools to 24/7 Sobriety Programs across the state.

Senate Bill 29 went into effect over the weekend, and will give parolees access to mobile breath tests. We talked with Sheriff Mike Milstead about how this will impact Minnehaha County. 

There are several ways someone can check-in for the 24/7 Sobriety Program. Now, they can do it from home with mobile breath alcohol tests.

“A software based program that would allow them to take their test without having to come in,” said Minnehaha County Sheriff, Mike Milstead. 

Right now, Milstead says they are monitoring more than 600 people. For some, this new option to test on their own time will help them to live their lives like normal.

“They can keep working their job and supporting their families and paying their taxes and this will just be, as I understand it, another technology or option available,” said Milstead. 

For many, the other options, including doing a breath test at the jail, is a better choice to stay on the straight and narrow.

“That once a day look at one of our staff people in a jail setting, that they don’t have to stay there, is kind of sobering and keeps them sober. We’ve had a lot of the people on twice-a-day testing say that that’s the only thing that has kept them sober,” said Milstead. 

For those who think the mobile tests will be a new way to try and trick the system, Milstead says with over 100 employees and years of experience, there’s little chance anyone would get away with that.

“Most of those technologies are really good at identifying if someone is cheating with it and to cheat with it it’s called a violation and you go to jail,” said Milstead. 

Milstead says they do not have the mobile tests in their possession right now, however with their addition the county will have 6 different tools within the 24/7 program.

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