Is There an Alternate Program For DUI Repeat Offenders?

In the past decade, the concept of utilizing special resolutions or an alternate program for DUI repeat offenders has been implemented in numerous states. These courts or alternative programs usually offer a departure from standard jail sentences for people who have demonstrated a problem with alcohol. Although some jail time is commonly involved, a substantial portion of the usual incarceration term is exchanged for some form of alcohol (or drug) treatment and intensive probation. Intensive probation typically involves a high degree of oversight by the probation officers, including weekly or random drug and alcohol screening.

Many of these special programs have a “work-release” component wherein the multiple DUI offender who is gainfully employed is allowed to go to and from work, assuming transportation can be arranged to assure that the person gets to and from work legally. In some jurisdictions, these programs will be a discretionary option (with the sentencing judge) for accused citizens who lose at trial, while other jurisdictions only offer accused citizens the chance to take such an option INSTEAD of work.

Some people are not well-suited for intensive probation and strict reporting requirements. Such people are usually quick to violate the restrictive conditions and are subsequently jailed for non-compliance. This jail term can sometimes be for the remainder of the probation period. For these people, a shorter jail term and normal non-reporting probation may be preferable to taking the “special court” option.

The experience of a highly qualified DUI lawyer can be extremely valuable in these situations. His or her knowledge of the sentencing patterns of your assigned judge can be crucial in deciding whether to try to win at trial or strongly consider accepting some alternative program plea offer. Remember, these programs may sound good at first, but they are not for everyone.