Sacramento California
Reno/Northern Nevada
Like us on Facebook
Like us on Facebook
QR Code
Estimate how much alcohol puts you on the wrong side of the law by scanning the QR code. 
Intercept commercial
Intercept commercial
Intercept commercial 2
Intercept commercial
Quick Links

Part 2 Of The SB277 Program


Matt Greelees 
District Supervisor For Intercept

We get the participants at the beginning of the SB277 program when many of them haven't had much experience with sobriety.  Since they are on house arrest and alcohol monitoring for six months I get to know them pretty well and I see each unique personality and the diverse backgrounds that brought them to this point in their lives.


After about 60 days I see many changes in them. Many of the participants tell me they didn't think they could make it this many days without drinking and are excited because it gives them renewed hope that they can actually live a sober life. They are ready for change. 


Not only does this program keep them from going to prison, when they do graduate they will not have a felony on their record, which is a HUGE bonus to work towards and is often a subject of conversation we have with many of the participants.


Working here has provided me with insight and a broader perspective into how fragile the human spirit can be. There is a lot of shame with addiction. We are involved with many of the therapeutic courts and one thing I have learned is everyone wants to feel valued and I believe everyone deserves compassion throughout the process of each program.


For any program to be effective teamwork and communication is crucial. I believe it is an integral part of the success we see with the SB277 program.


I feel we all have a vested interest and are all dedicated not only to the individuals that come through our doors but to the community as a whole in keeping our roads safe.


Nathaniel Espino With The SB277 Program

By Marion Straw 


Nathaniel Espino
Nathaniel Espino 


Nathaniel Espino is a participant in the Felony DUI Program. He began in March of 2011 and has approximately 11 months left before he graduates.   


Q: Tell me how you ended up here?


Nate: I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I was at the end of my rope fighting to find a job, running the streets not taking care of my kids, drinking and doing lots of drugs. I was a meth addict and an alcoholic. I started early as a teenager going against my parents or anyone in authority. Got into gangs and always went against my better judgment. I had 16 convictions and didn't think they would even consider me for this program. Truthfully I wasn't sure if I wanted to come into the program at all. I didn't think it would help. I've been to prison three times from 2005-2008. Each time it was a drug charge. Nothing else had worked in the past, plus you are always overlooked in prison. So why even try.


Q: How has this program helped you?


Nate: The program all together has helped. It's not one particular component that's been better than the other. Having a routine, staying busy (the program keeps you really busy) and being obsessed with recovery. I also realized it was an opportunity to better myself. Don't get me wrong this program isn't easy. The roughest part is in the beginning trying to get used to everything, so being on SCRAM the first six months really helped. I knew I couldn't drink so it took the edge off and kept me sober. I also have a great caseworker Misty, who has always been very understanding and actually hears me when I need to talk. The judges, like Judge Breen are not just there to put people away; they really want to help people who cannot find their way.


Q: Who/What inspires you and what are your plans after you graduate?


Nate: Watching others I have gotten to know graduate from the program has really inspired me. I also have great family support. I feel I have finally overcome my addiction and I don't want to turn back. No way! I've taken to many steps forward to take even one step back. To tell you the truth I don't think I could live with myself. I've lived that life for far to long and I don't want to go back. It feels good knowing I can live a normal life. I would like to speak at AA meetings and maybe work with juveniles. Honestly I don't really think that far ahead. I live day to day and make the program my top priority, that's all I can do.


An updated study done by The Century Council talks about how SCRAMx reduces recidivism rates in hardcore drunk drivers.



Download the
Probation Guide

Download the
Judicial Guide

Download the
Prosecutors Guide

Supreme Court Ruling on Warrantless DUI Blood Testing 


Last month the United States Supreme Court in Missouri v. McNeely ruled to uphold a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in which the defendant, charged with DUI, moved to suppress results from a blood test obtained by the arresting officer without the defendant's consent or a search warrant, claiming the unauthorized test violated his Fourth Amendment rights.


McNeely refused a breathalyzer and was taken to a hospital after the arrest, where a blood test was administered without his consent, showing his blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit. The trial court agreed with the defense, and the test results were not admitted at trial. The Missouri Supreme Court, relying on the 1966 Schmerber v. California case, upheld the court's decision to rule the test inadmissible and ruled that the exigency exception to the warrant requirement did not apply because there was no emergency.


The court, affirming the use of a 'totality of the circumstances' test, relying on Schmerber, failed to define what constitutes an "emergency situation," which would permit a blood test without a warrant. This raises a very real "destruction of evidence" concern, absent a reasonable exigency, causing the state to extrapolate blood alcohol levels due to the arrestee's refusal to submit to a chemical test.


It is recommended that all agencies review their refusal policies and procedures with their legal advisors or local prosecuting attorneys. This ruling will require search warrants on most cases and a warrant procedure should be put into place so that this can be done in a timely fashion.  The cases where a warrant is not required are going to be very fact specific and will rest on the exigency of the situation, proceeding even in a medically approved manner will likely mean that the blood result will be suppressed.


This decision will also increase the burden on the court system by incentivizing defense attorneys to bring additional suppression hearings. The case is clear in its ruling that the test results will be thrown out of court if a warrant is not obtained.


If you have someone you think should be acknowledged or spotlighted in our newsletter please contact:
Marion Straw 775-323-8273