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Associated Press, Published October 18 2010

Statistics show ND "24-7 Sobriety Program" is working

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Statistics show that most people ordered into a program designed to keep drunken drivers off North Dakota roads are abstaining from alcohol.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem implemented the statewide initiative known as the "24-7 Sobriety Program." Repeat drunken drivers must submit to regular testing for alcohol to stop them from drinking.

The Minot Daily News reports that statewide, between Jan. 1, 2008, and Aug. 4, 2010, 86 percent of the 112 people in the program were compliant.

"Instead of telling people, 'If you continue to drink and drive, we're going to stop you from driving,' what we need to tell people is, 'If you continue to drink and drive, we're going to stop you from drinking,'" Stenehjem has said.

Statistics from Stenehjem's office show that more than 5,500 people were convicted of drunken driving in North Dakota last year.

Eighty-two people have been killed in crashes on state roads this year. About 40 percent of those accidents involved alcohol, the Highway Patrol said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.