House Arrest in DUI Cases

House arrest is a consequence that can be imposed after an individual has violated the law, although it is generally reserved for those individuals who have been repeatedly convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Due to the cost of confinement in a jail or prison, house arrest provides an alternative for the government, as well as the offender, in that it usually permits the offender to continue to work or go to school in addition to serving a period of confinement to their home.

In order to track the offender while on house arrest, a bracelet is issued that is usually affixed to the offender’s ankle. The bracelet is provided in combination with a base monitoring unit that is connected to the telephone line. When the offender leaves his or her home, the base monitoring unit detects that the bracelet is no longer within the designated range and initiates a telephone call to a centralized monitoring databank.

Repeated violations of the house arrest order can result in its revocation and the implementation of other penalties in its place, such as confinement to a jail or prison.

In combination with electronic monitoring, a condition of house arrest could be that the offender be required to provide a breathalyzer sample at various intervals throughout the day. The sample is taken by another electronic device that, while collecting and interpreting the offender’s breath sample, takes a photograph of the offender.

The results of this test and the photograph are then sent to a centralized monitoring databank through a telephone line. If the offender’s sample tests positive, consequences, including revocation of the house arrest program, could result.

House arrest, like other forms of legal intervention, has produced positive results for both the offender and the community. Recidivism is reduced because offenders are generally cognizant of the fact that their sentence could have been worsened by the inclusion of time in prison.

Given the consequences of violating house arrest, most offenders maintain themselves within the parameters of their sentence and are released from it with a renewed sense of respect for themselves and their community.