State Judge Rules Against 24/7 Sobriety Program - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

State Judge Rules Against 24/7 Sobriety Program

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LINCOLN COUNTY -

A district judge in Libby rules against Montana's 24/7 sobriety program for drunken driving suspects, calling it unconstitutional. The state has already appealed the ruling to the Montana Supreme Court.

In his February 5 ruling, District Judge James Wheelis says the program's sobriety testing fees are an unconstitutional punishment for defendants before they are tried.

The legislature passed the law in 2011 to crack down on drunk driving. Under the law, anyone arrested for drunken driving two or more times can be ordered to take part in the program. It requires the driver to take, and pay for, frequent breath tests before their trial.

Wheelis threw out the law based on a challenge by Robert Spady, who was arrested for drunken driving and careless driving in Lincoln County. Spady took part in the 24/7 program for 113 days and paid $452 in fees. The order shows he was arrested each time and charged with contempt of court.

We will have more information, and reaction from Governor Bullock, on the ABC MONTANA NEWS at 5:30, and the FOX MONTANA NEWS AT 9.

 

 

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