Laura's Law has become one of North Carolina's biggest legislative efforts in the last few years to deter drunk driving. Laura's Law was revised this past summer to expand the sanctions and monitoring requirements for people convicted of repeat drunk driving offenses.

The changes to the law went into effect in the beginning of December. State lawmakers revised the language of the law to make is easier for officials to require drunk driving offenders to wear Continuous Alcohol Monitoring devices during pre-trials and probation. Under Laura's Law, offenders required to wear the alcohol monitoring device are also required to pay for all or a significant portion of the daily fees.

In addition to repeat drunk drivers being required to wear the monitoring devices, judges can also require parents seeking child custody or visitation to wear the bracelets if alcohol abuse is suspected.

Since the original law passed in 2011, 1,400 alcohol monitoring devices have been used on drunk driving offenders in North Carolina. The amount of time the devices are used is expected to increase under the expansion of the law.

Laura's Law can now require the Continuous Alcohol Monitoring devices to be worn for more than 60 days and it also expands which cases can be required to wear the monitoring device. These decisions are up to a judge's discretion but lawmakers believe more offenders will be wearing the devices for a longer amount of time.

The Continuous Alcohol Monitoring device is an ankle bracelet that is worn at all times. The bracelet tests a person's perspiration 48 times a day to check if any alcohol is present in the person's system. Depending on the person's probation or parole requirements, a positive test result could mean an extended period of probation or even being sent to jail.

Source: Daily Herald, "Laura's Law Changes Take Effect December 1st," Dec. 1, 2012