County to Give Drunk Drivers "Teachable Moment"
If you’ve been convicted of drunk driving more than once and wind up in Sacramento County Jail, get ready to … see a psychiatrist? It's a new way of cracking down on repeat DUI offenders.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The inspiration for this program, according to the trauma surgeon whose idea led to its creation, is … are you ready for this? Ebenezer Scrooge!
“In the Christmas Carol, the ghost of Christmas Yet to Be explains to Ebenezer what the implications of what he’s doing will be. And he gets a little look at the future and that look at the future is his teachable moment. It gives him an opportunity to change his way.”
And UC Davis’s Dr. Leon Owens says that’s the goal of Sacramento County’s pilot DUI prevention program – to give repeat drunk drivers a similar “teachable moment.”
So under a state law passed in 2005, police and sheriffs deputies can seize and impound offenders’ cars to grab their attention -- and then make them talk to a specially-trained social worker.
The pilot program also includes increased enforcement and a high-profile ad campaign.