Dane County is expanding a program that makes it harder for convicted drunk drivers to hide problem drinking.
The county is increasing the number of offenders in a pilot biomarker program from 100 to 300. The program requires OWI offenders enrolled in a Driver Safety Plan to submit to tests that can detect the use of alcohol for several weeks after it’s consumed, unlike the few days normal urine tests check for.
Program director Pamela Bean says about 30 percent of those tested under the program so far had drinking relapses within a year, which half of them lied about. Bean says the goal of the program is to keep repeat drunk drivers off the streets by allowing them to zero in on high risk offenders and helping them recover through intense treatment.
Dane County is one of two counties in the state where the program is being tested.