Minnehaha, Codington counties to use kiosks for 24/7 sobriety checks

Minnehaha, Codington counties to use kiosks for 24/7 sobriety checks
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 5:41 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Two South Dakota counties have a new way of breathalyzing those who are required to participate in alcohol monitoring by the court.

Minnehaha and Codington counties now have an electronic system that is faster and safer to use amid the global pandemic.

The counties recently installed kiosks to replace the face-to-face mandatory breathalyzer tests. This is something people who are a part of the 24/7 sobriety program will use daily.

“People are put on the 24/7 program from the court order due to being arrested for a DWI case or any case that alcohol was involved,” said Lieutenant Kurt Schaunaman at the Minnehaha County Jail.

The three kiosks can also be used for pre-trial and probation check-ins as well.

Currently, breathalyzer tests are taken face-to-face, and these machines will be safer amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Schaunaman added, “Right now, we are doing handheld PBT’s, so we’re more face-to-face with them within the six-foot range. With these, they’re not face-to-face and there doesn’t need to be an officer right there present.”

How does it work? An individual checks-in with their fingerprint, which identifies them. Next, they grab a disposable straw, insert it into the machine, and blow. The results are sent to the officers and the individual leaves with a receipt.

Kiosks are also equipped with cameras to record the interaction with pictures and a video.

The machines are set to be put to use early next week and will also speed up the process.

“This will make things quicker, the kiosks can do about 45 tests an hour, so not only will it eliminate the face-to-face interaction with the staff here at the jail it’ll be quicker for other participants to test,” said Shaunaman.

Minnehaha and Codington counties are the only two counties currently using these kiosks.

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