Herald-Dispatch encouraged by alternative to lockup for DUI cases

Excerpts from an editorial in the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington:

“HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — … A test group of offenders have been issued the new SOBERLINK device, which com­bines cellphone and GPS technology with a hand-held Breathalyzer. Officers with the Sheriff’s Alternative Sentencing Division can place a call to the offender at any time of day, requiring them to provide a breath sample…

“…The calls are made a minimum of four times a day, and a blood-alcohol content of 0.02 percent will trigger an immediate alert to an officer, who can then respond quick­ly to that location. Depending on the situation, the officer can make an arrest and revoke the home confinement…

“…One third-offense offender already has completed 45 days of monitoring, providing 175 negative breath samples during the period. That is a good result that protects the public and gives the offender an important step toward recovery, without the expense of a jail cell.”

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