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What Alternative Punishments To Jail Might Be Available For DUI Offenders?


The most typical alternative sentence to actually doing jail time would be the Sheriff’s Work Program or The Alternative Sentencing Bureau, which is how a number of counties word it. Basically the person would sign up and have an intake appointment with the sheriff’s department and then they would sign up to do a certain number of days picking up trash. Right now in California, most of the counties in the San Francisco Bay area give people something called 4019 credits, which is halftime credits.

Let us suppose someone got 10 days in jail which could be done on the Sheriff’s Work Program. They would get 1 day credit for when they were brought into custody or maybe 2 days if it was past midnight, and this would count in regards to calendar days. If they had 1 day credit, then they would sign up for the Sheriff’s Work Program and the time spent there would get calculated. It would get cut in half so they would get 5 days and then because they had 1 day credit, they would only have to do 4 days.

They would probably do 2 days a week and then maybe start on a few weekends. Depending on what county it was, they would show up at maybe 8 o’clock and bring lunch with them. They would do whatever clean up they were required to do, under the supervision of the sheriff, for usually 8 hours or sometimes a little less, depending on the county. They would then go home and come back the next day. They might work on a Saturday or Sunday and then the following weekend, which is just an example of the Sheriff’s Work Program.

The person might have to clean the bathrooms in the Sheriff’s department, or they could actually do some work in the jails, whether it was painting, sweeping, or trash pickup out in parks and cemeteries and sometimes even on the highways. There are a lot of different things that people could do while on the Sheriff’s Work Program.

Would Someone With A Disability Be Given Special Privileges?

Someone with a disability would often be able to be assigned to light duty.

Are There Any Residential Treatment Programs?

Other types of programs that someone could do in lieu of jail would be residential treatment programs, because that would sometimes get them credit for having done a certain amount of time in a live-in treatment program which would often be followed up by a sober living environment, especially for people who were multiple offenders.

Do Rehab Courses Help Reduce Punishments?

Completing a lot of AA meetings or self-help meetings can sometimes get punishments reduced. It would be helpful if I could show the DA that my client had done some kind of program. Sometimes, I can go to 90 AA or NA meetings in 90 days. If someone had to do a certain number of days, then the DA might decide they did not want to make the person do any so they would just credit them for time served because they had participated in some kind of program.

What Happens During House Arrest?

Electronic monitoring is used by some, but not all counties. The person would be on home detention and they would be able to go to work during the day but then they would have to be at home. It would be like having a jail at home, because the person would not be allowed to have any alcohol in the house. Law enforcement would be able to check up on the person and they would use GPS devices to track them.

Are There Other Facilities Than Jail Where The Person Would Have To Live?

San Mateo County is one of the very few counties that work furlough. This would be for more serious offenders or multiple offenders so they would be able to go to work during the day and then they would need to stay in a jail kind of facility at night and they would have to do that for however long they needed to for their sentence. There are just some of the typical alternative sentences for DUI cases when the person was not able to get full credit for time served.

For more information on Alternative Punishments For DUI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

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