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Resources For Repeat DUI Offenders - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Resources For Repeat DUI Offenders

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A Fargo woman has been arrested twice within 24 hours for the same charge. Heather Grovum was released from jail Sunday night after driving under the influence, only to be arrested again in West Fargo at 3:00 Monday morning.  

But there are resources are out there to help get repeat offenders back on a safe and sober path. 

"It's pretty unusual. When someone gets arrested for a DUI we keep them in our booking room until they can sober up." says Sgt. Ben Schwandt with the Cass County Jail.

But in North Dakota if offenders make bail and have a sober ride, they can leave while still intoxicated.

"They will then go immediately back to their car, get in the car and drive again, and ultimately be arrested for dui a second time, within hours!" says Lt. Joel Vettel with the Fargo Police Department.

Now Grovum will join 21 other offenders in Cass County who are in the 24/7 Program. The program requires people to come in twice a day so they can take a breathalyzer test. If they blow anything above point zeros they will be taken back to jail.

"Then it's up to the judge where they will go from there." Sgt. Schwandt says.

Another 29 people in Cass County are unable to make it to testing times, so they have a SCRAM bracelet.  It's attached to their ankle and tests sweat for any traces of alcohol.

All means to help keep repeat offenders off the roads.

"If we identify somebody that's really struggling, we'll give them as many resources as we have available to try and help them." Sgt. Schwandt adds.

Because they've noticed the programs helping them recover are working.

"Some have even gone so far to say they wish their time on the program wasn't ending because it's helped them so much." Sgt. Schwandt says.

Minnesota law also allows a person, arrested for drunk driving, to be released before they are sober if someone who is sober is there to pick them up.
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