Media Contact

Janna Farley,

April 6, 2022

The U.S. District Court in Casper will hear a case on Friday challenging Wyoming’s 24/7 Sobriety Program and its application in Teton County.

In the case Marx v. Hill et al, the ACLU of Wyoming represents Alfredo Guillermo Sanchez and David Christopher “Chris” Ball, previous program participants, and Sean Marx, a current participant in the program. All other pretrial participants of the program are also included in the lawsuit. The hearing will take place at 8:30 a.m., April 8, at the Ewing T. Kerr Federal Building at 111 S. Wolcott St., Caspar.

Originally created by a 2014 state law, Wyoming’s 24/7 Sobriety Program allows a judge to mandate a breathalyzer test twice a day, every day, for those awaiting trial on alcohol charges. The program was designed for repeat offenders of alcohol and drug related arrests, but in Teton County, it is also being used as a pretrial condition for first-time offenders following amendment of the law in 2019.

“Pretrial participants in Wyoming’s 24/7 Sobriety Program should be presumed innocent until proven guilty and are entitled to due process and meaningful hearings,” said Stephanie Amiotte, ACLU of Wyoming legal director. “Any law that allows the warrantless search of people without probable cause to believe they’ve committed a crime violates the Constitution and cannot stand. We hope the court will recognize that the 24/7 Program, as applied in Teton County, is a gross overreach of government power.” 

The case asserts that daily warrantless searches are constitutional violations when applied to people who haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. Specifically, the 24/7 program violates the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. 

The program also violates due process because it authorizes a person’s arrest without a warrant for violation of the program without giving sufficient notice of the conduct that must be conformed to under the statute.  As a result, Campbell County and Fremont County sheriffs run their 24/7 programs differently from Teton County and arrest participants for being late by 1 minute or more to testing and hold participants for different lengths of time than Teton County. This is because the arrest statute is vague and gives arresting officers sole discretion in determining a violation depriving participants of their liberty without due process as required by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Because the 24/7 Sobriety Program goes beyond the constitutional limits that exist to protect the privacy and freedom of Wyoming citizens, the plaintiffs are asking the court to block the state from enforcing the two unconstitutional program statues and the program’s administrative rules related to pretrial participants.

The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU of Wyoming and Darold W. Killmer with Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, with support from Lauren McLane with the Defender Aid Clinic at the University of Wyoming College of Law. The ACLU’s complaint and other legal documents related to the case can be found here:

About the ACLU of Wyoming

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Wyoming is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and South Dakota. The team in Wyoming is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of Wyoming.