The 24/7 Sobriety Program Bill has passed general file in the Wyoming Senate.
The bill would create the option for people who have been arrested for substance abuse misdemeanors to be tested regularly for drug or alcohol use instead of staying in jail. If the offender fails to complete or pass a test, he or she would be arrested and appear in front of a judge.
The program would mainly be funded by fees paid up-front by the offenders themselves.
Senator Jim Anderson of Casper says that the bill has worked well in surrounding states. He is optimistic about its success in Wyoming.
“We’re really talking about incredible savings of dollars to your county jails,” Senator Anderson says. “To your prison systems as crimes escalate or things escalate, and so there’s some serious opportunity. We’re continually challenged with bed space, both in the jails and at the prisons. Here’s a program that makes a significant change.
The Senate amended the bill clarifying that it applies to second time offenders. The bill will be discussed twice more in the Senate.