Havre Police have undertaken a new program to keep suspected or convicted drunken drivers off the streets.
Under the program, people who have been arrested or convicted of drunken driving can be ordered by the judge to show up at the police station to undergo sobriety tests. If it turns out they have been imbibing, they can be jailed right away.
But officials in other counties where the program has been tried say that rarely happens.
The threat of incarceration keeps them dry.
The program is good for everyone on all sides. Offenders and alleged offenders can maintain their normal lives, caring for children and hopefully going to work.
Hill County taxpayers save because they don’t have to provide accommodations at the detention center for the drunken drivers.
The program does provide additional work for officers who have to administer the tests to people, but that additional cost will be offset by having fewer drunken drivers on the streets.
Montana has taken several steps in recent years to cut back on the number of drunken drivers on the streets. It seems from some reports that the program is having a good effect.
The new laws have given more work to police officers, judges and prosecutors, but it appears that there are fewer drunken drivers on the street.
There will be many benefits from the sobriety check program, and the Havre Police Department should be commended for taking the initiative.