The consequences of a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) are significant. Loss of driving privileges, increased insurance rates, fines, a blot on your permanent record, and more. But perhaps the most frightening aspect of a DUI is the possibility of going to jail. While jail is still a consideration in many drunk driving and drugged driving cases, particularly those where the conviction is for extreme or super extreme DUI, and for second and third DUI offenses, recent law has made it possible, in many of these cases, to serve the bulk of any jail sentence in home detention.
A.R.S. 12-251.15 provides a procedure and standards for home detention for those convicted of DUI. The law provides that a county may establish such a home detention system for those who are eligible. The time spent in home detention counts as confinement in jail. A program was recently approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, although many cities in the county were already operating with home detention programs. Here are some of the issues regarding eligibility and more:
Who is Not Eligible for DUI Home Detention?
The statute provides that you are not eligible for home detention after conviction for driving under the influence under any of the following circumstances:
- If the court finds you are a danger to yourself or to others in the community.
- If you have a history of violent behavior.
- If the sentencing judge rules at your sentencing that you are ineligible.
What are the conditions of home detention?
Typical home detention involves electronic monitoring, which means wearing an electronic device (usually an ankle bracelet) that broadcasts your location to detect whether you are at home or elsewhere. You may be permitted to leave home for work, but the device will also monitor and detect curfew violations.
Home detention also includes monitoring the presence of alcohol in your system with a device that connects to your phone, which must be a landline. When an alarm sounds, you are required to blow into the device, much like an ignition interlock device (although no vehicle is involved). In the Maricopa County program, you must also have a full-time job or be a full-time student in Maricopa County, or be a Maricopa resident with physical limitations that justify placement in the home detention program.
Additional conditions may be imposed by the court, such as not using drugs or alcohol, not associating with certain individuals, attending scheduled appointments, attending court-ordered alcohol counseling, additional drug and alcohol testing, payment for all these services, among other conditions.
How does home detention affect jail time?
While the home detention program significantly reduces the amount of jail time some individuals will serve, it does not erase all jail time. As a general rule, you can expect to serve 20% of your jail sentence prior to being eligible for home detention. The specifics of how much time you will have to serve will depend upon factors such as whether this is your first DUI, whether you were convicted of extreme DUI (BAC of .015 or higher), and others.
The Home Detention Program and COVID-19
Even though many areas in Maricopa County were already using the home detention program prior to its county-wide adoption, this is another indication of the desire on the part of many officials to empty the jails of non-violent inmates and thereby decrease the risks associated with COVID-19. We hope that the trend will continue.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004