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3 Alternatives to Jail Time for First-Time DUI Offenders

Letting your hair down, to party or on your birthday, is something you can do once in a while to relieve stress and unwind after a rough day. But if it includes drinking, make sure you bring along a designated driver or you could be facing a DUI charge.

The simple definition of DUI is that it is the act of driving a vehicle after having consumed alcohol, and in some states, if you are charged you might end up in jail. However there are 3 alternatives to jail time for first-time DUI offenders.

1 One Day in Jail Plus Suspension

As long as your blood alcohol level is under .15 it is not considered high enough for you to be charged with extreme DUI. For the first time offender, this means less jail time.

Under Arizona law, you are required to spend a minimum of 10 days in jail for this misdemeanor, but with a skilled Phoenix DUI lawyer, it may be possible to receive a suspension of 9 days so you only have to serve one day in jail. In addition, that one day doesn’t necessarily mean 24 hours. The time spent during the booking process along with the time it took for the original arrest might also be considered part of that one day. What that means is a period of time spent in jail of less than 24 hours.

2 Ignition interlock

This device can be attached to your car and it works by forcing to blow into a tube before your car will start. It measures your blood alcohol and if it is zero, you should be able to start your car.

If it is anything above zero, you may be left sitting in your car with no way to get to work or any other place you might be trying to get to. Keep in mind, the offender must pay for the cost of the device as well as any monthly charges incurred from the continued monitoring.

3 Home Detention

Another alternative to jail time for the first time DUI offender is home detention. Of course, there are costs associated with this arrangement and they are pretty steep. Depending on the court, they could run anywhere from about $10 to $30 per day for this electronic monitoring device, and there are certain requirements that must be met before you are eligible for this program.

For example, you must live in the county in which you were incarcerated and you must not have a history of violent behavior. There are other requirements as well, such as not having been convicted of a serious offense or having received a sentence as a dangerous offender. You must not be being held for other violations in any jurisdiction and a judge can decide you are ineligible. Remember eligibility itself is still not a guarantee, because the county may not even offer the program.

While there may be other penalties associated with a DUI in addition to jail time, the bottom line is, be responsible when you go out. If you are going to let your hair down by drinking, have a designated driver or some other plan in place. This way you won’t even have to worry about getting a lawyer in the first place.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.