Court cracks down on repeat DUI suspects
LaGRANGE — For the past six months, some multiple DUI offenders in Troup County have been surprised to learn that they cannot bond out of jail without first appearing before State Court Judge Jeannette Little and having an alcohol monitor bracelet placed on their ankle.
In October 2015, Little launched a new “fast-track” initiative that requires offenders with either two DUIs in five years or three lifetime DUIs to make their first court appearance before they can post bond.
If a multiple offender is arrested on a Friday night, for example, the defendant will stay in jail over the weekend before being transported to the courthouse on Monday morning to appear before the judge.
“We put the fast-track system in place primarily to prevent high-risk, multiple DUI offenders from getting back out on the roads and continuing to drink and drive before their court date,” Little said.
As a condition of bond, most multiple offenders must wear a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring — SCRAM — ankle bracelet, which detects any alcohol consumption as the alcohol leaves the body through skin pores. Defendants are responsible for the cost of SCRAM, which is $10 per day.
“If they drink, we will know it,” said Solicitor-General Markette Baker. “And we can immediately set a bond revocation hearing.”
The fast-track program also allows multiple DUI offenders to enter a treatment program more quickly.
“Multiple offenders generally have the option to participate in our DUI/Drug Court treatment program or an inpatient treatment program,” Little explained. “The sooner we can get someone into a treatment program, the sooner they can begin their recovery.”
The Troup County Sheriff’s Office has taken on the task of flagging multiple offenders when they are arrested for driving under the influence.
“We’re always happy to help with any initiative that makes our roads safer for the citizens of Troup County,” said Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff.
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