Gilbert Establishes House Arrest Program for Qualifying DUI Offenders

DUILate 2010, the City of Gilbert joined other cities such as Phoenix, Mesa, and Chandler in establishing a program that allows those charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) who meet certain qualifications to serve some of their sentence at home.  According to a Phoenix DUI attorney, the new measure is most likely to apply to first-time extreme DUI offenders who are sentenced to more than fifteen (15) days in jail.  Those who qualify for home detention will still serve fifteen (15) days in jail but will then be sent home where they will be monitored with a tracking bracelet.  In addition, these DUI offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and a device at their home that will monitor their blood alcohol content (BAC).  One Phoenix DUI lawyer said, “It is a deterrent and more importantly they’re not on the roads, they’re being monitored and it’s a huge cost savings for the city.” To the cost savings aspect, prior to the enactment of this law, Maricopa County billed the city of Gilbert approximately $500,000 over a three (3) month period to house DUI offenders in tent city.  Further, a Gilbert city judge estimated that if a home detention program had been in place in 2009, it would have resulted in a savings of $700,000.  Although some are comfortable with this new program, Gilbert resident Susan Moresco fears it is compromising the safety of other residents: “If they’re staying at home watching soap operas and watching sports and Oprah, how is that deterring them from committing the crime again? So I think they need to stay in jail.”

In February of 2011, the Court began to implement this new law.  Under this law, an offender who is eligible to participate in the home detention program will likely be allowed to attend work or school while completing his or her sentence.  However, the offender’s movement will be monitored through use of an ankle bracelet.  Further, the offender will be required to return home from work or school at a specific hour.  If an offender violates the terms of the home detention program, the home detention officer will notify the court and also notify the offender that he or she is aware of the violation.   The offender is then required to appear in court the next business day.  If the offender fails to appear in court, the court will issue a warrant for his or her arrest.  Further, the offender will be required to pay a daily fee to participate in the home detention program, but the offender does have the option to apply for a reduction in the cost of the program fee. Finally, according to Gilbert City Ordinance § 22-38, “Home detention shall not be permitted for offenders who: (1) Are found to constitute a risk to themselves or other members of the community; (2) Have a past history of violent behavior; or (3) Have been declared ineligible by the sentencing judge for participation in the home detention program.”

If you are facing DUI charges, contact the DUI law office Oracle Law Group Office P.C. to determine whether you may be eligible to participate in the home detention program.