Home Monitoring & Electronic Home Detention in Drunk Driving Cases
Also known as “Home Detention” or “House Arrest,” home monitoring can be imposed as a sentence, as a term of probation, or even while a criminal case is pending. House arrest is a great alternative for both the government and the DUI offender. The cost to the state that usually accompanies incarceration is avoided and the offender is allowed to serve out his/her sentence at home instead of behind bars. Another attractive quality about house arrest is that you may still continue to work or go to school while serving out your sentence.
How home detention works in DUI cases.
There are two kinds of house arrest – home monitoring and electronic home monitoring. The use and availability of them varies from state to state (and even from city to city within a state), so be sure to check your local laws. With regular home monitoring, a curfew will be imposed at which time a phone call must be made to confirm that the offender is home. Random phone checks or visits from a court appointed person may also be made to ensure proper compliance with the house arrest terms. Any violation will result in additional penalties or replacement of your house arrest with jail.
The electronic home monitoring system is a small tracking device that is usually worn around the ankle (but may also be worn on the wrist). A base unit located in the home detects and records signals that are transmitted from the bracelet. When the bracelet is out of range, the base unit knows. Most house arrest terms require the offender to be home by a certain curfew. Random telephone checks or breath testing may also be required. Failure to comply with the terms of your house arrest may result in additional penalties. Any violation or attempt to tamper with the device will be recorded and sent to authorities.
What to expect while on home detention or house arrest for drunk driving.
House arrest is often better then jail – it allows offenders to serve out their sentence from the comfort of their own home. A regular work schedule is also permitted. Extra time may be given to allow for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, or attendance of alcohol abuse meetings. The electronic monitoring device is small and strapped to the ankle 24/7 during the confinement period. It cannot be removed or tampered with, and any attempt to do so will be detected and sent to authorities. The device is small enough to fit discretely under a pant leg, and is water resistant.
Some house arrest sentences also require breath samples to be given to detect the presence of alcohol. To prevent fraud, a photograph may be taken while a sample is being provided. In some states, electronic home monitoring is in the form of a SCRAM device that automatically checks your blood alcohol levels at random intervals. If at any time a DUI offender violates the terms of their sentence or probation, their house arrest privileges could be revoked, and the person could instead be sent to jail.
State laws on when and how house arrest is offered in DUI cases differ dramatically. For example, some states only use house arrest with repeat offenders. Check with your local laws or contact an experienced attorney in your state for more information on house arrest and if it will be available to you.