Work Release & Furlough in DUI Jail Sentences
Work Release is an alternative to jail time in some DUI cases. A person convicted of DWI is allowed to work at a pre-selected job-site where he/she will be monitored until the end of the work day. At night, the offender is allowed to go home to sleep. The location and hours of the particular work site is chosen by the court and enforced through the probation department. Some common jobs include cleaning city parks/streets, trash collection, and other tasks involving physical labor.
Work furlough is another alternative to jail time, similar to work release. The difference is that with work furlough, the DUI offender is allowed to work at his or her existing job during the day, but at night he/she must report to a state monitored facility to sleep. Strict release guidelines are enforced and violations will result in addition penalties and revocation of the work furlough privilege. This is often the best case scenario to DUI offenders that cannot avoid some type of incarceration. This option allows the offender to maintain his work schedule and keep earning money during the time he must serve in jail.
Availability of Work Release/Furlough In DWI Sentences
Depending on the local laws of your state, work release/furlough my only be available to certain offenders. These alternatives to full time incarceration are usually only offered to trustworthy offenders. People with prior offenses may not be eligible, depending on how your state’s law apply. Additionally, more severe DUI defendants, such as felony offenders or those involved in accident cases may not be entitled.
In some states, work release and work furlough are combined into one program. For example, in Michigan, the Oakland County work release program houses sentenced offenders in a minimum security facility who are permitted to work at their existing jobs during the day. Inmates are charged room and board fees (about $92 per week) to cover the costs of their stay at the facility. A letter of employment must be given that contains all employer information as well as the employee’s work schedule. The exact rules and regulations of the work release programs are different in each state, so be sure to check your state laws.
As another example, in misdemeanor Arizona DUI cases, work release is almost always available and granted because of the extremely long jail sentences that must be imposed after all Arizona DUI convictions.