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DUI Offenders to Get GPS Tracking Devices

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Officials say a pilot program is in place in Riverside County to deal with repeat DUI offenders by using global positioning satellite technology.

Probations officers say they will now be able to see if repeat offenders are going to places such as bars or liquor stores.

It's the same type of technology already in place for some sex offenders.

Drunken drivers will be subject to the same GPS and alcohol monitoring. It's a sentence that courts are imposing more frequently.

On any given day, over five million offenders in the U.S. are either on parole, probation or some form of supervision.

For the first time in California, tracking devices will monitor the whereabouts of felony, repeat DUI offenders in Southwest Riverside County.

"It's one more tool we can use to help supervise when we're not around. We know where the hot spots are," said probation officer John Arii.

Those hot spots could be bars, liquor stores or restaurants that serve alcohol.

Once an offender is outfitted with a tamper-resistant ankle bracelet, GPS receivers will track their whereabouts continuously. Probation officers will be notified within a minute of a violation.

Thanks to a $600,000 state grant, some offenders will wear an ankle device known as SCRAM to detect body temperature, which experts say changes as a person uses alcohol.

"It will not only help us track but it will also help us get these people the treatment they need," said Chris Murphy with the Office of Traffic Safety.

Typically three DUI convictions mean the courts can order a person to wear the device.

Southwest Riverside County was chosen for this pilot program because statistics showed a larger percentage of DUI accidents in the Temecula and Murietta area, according to local police.

Article courtesy of

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