House Arrest Option for Arizona DUI Offenders

In Arizona, jail in mandatory following a misdemeanor DUI conviction. An Aggravated DUI (felony DUI) conviction comes with a mandatory jail sentence. Some cities are cutting costs by offering DUI offenders the option of being under house arrest instead of incarcerated in a Maricopa County jail. House arrest is an option in Phoenix, Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, and Goodyear. The new DUI laws that went into effect in 2012 may make house arrest an option in other cities as well.

When a person is sentenced to house arrest, the rules are similar to work release. The offender must stay at home except to go to work and attend substance abuse counseling.  All other outings require court approval. Persons under house arrest are monitored 24 hours a day with an electronic ankle bracelet.

Allowing DUI offenders to be place under house arrest saves cities hundreds of thousands of dollars. When a person in incarcerated in Maricopa County jail, he/she are expected to pay the cost of their incarceration; however many can’t or won’t. If a person wants to be placed under house arrest, he/she must shoulder the financial burden and pay a private company for the monitoring bracelet and any other costs for the service.  The offender may also be required to pay for a sobriety monitoring console.

Surprise will pay the monitoring fees for indigent offenders. At $9 per day, house arrest is a cheaper alternative for the city than incarceration. This is an average cost per day for house arrest, but each monitoring company sets its own rate. Also, the price for incarceration varies in each city.

In Glendale, if an offender violates the terms of house arrest, an alert is sent to the monitoring company.  The monitoring company then notifies the court, and the court sends 2 warrant officers to arrest the offender. The offender must serve the rest of his/her sentence in jail if a judge determines that the offender violated his/her house arrest.

One of the fears related to house arrest is that it does not prevent the offender from drinking and driving. The monitoring company can detect where the offender is, but wearing the ankle bracelet does not prevent the offender from drinking or taking drugs. However, each offender is required to perform a breath test at home using a device that attaches to a telephone line. Offenders who are caught with alcohol in their systems must serve the remainder of their sentences in jail.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for DUI at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your DUI case.

Photo credit: reverendluckwarm from Flickr