Legal Terms

Probation for DUI Violation

© Kevin Jones
There are many punishments that may be ordered after a DUI conviction: jail time, community service, mandatory alcohol classes, fines, and a driverís license suspension. The judge may also sentence you to DUI probation.

The length of a DUI probation period differs based on the state and the circumstances involved in the drunk-driving charge. The DUI probation period for a misdemeanor offense ranges from three months to one year. For a more serious DUI charge, the probation period may last several years.

If a person on probation commits any new crime during the probation period, he or she faces enhanced punishments. This could be new jail time, new fines, or a longer probation period.

It is crucial that you understand and comply all of the terms and conditions of your probation. You will be assigned to a designated probation officer who will meet with you to ensure all conditions are being met. This may include alcohol treatment and counseling, vehicle restrictions, and DUI School requirements.

During probation, most DUI offenders are supervised by a probation officer; however, some first-time offenders are put on probation for a certain amount of time without having to register with the probation office.

While some DUI offenders might only have phone contact with their probation officers, others may have to meet in person. These meetings may range from every week to once a month. During these meetings, the offender is subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

In some cases, the offender may be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. This device is designed to keep the car from starting if the driverís blood alcohol content is over a certain limit. The driver must take in the car to have the test results downloaded. Failing the breath test on this device may be reported to the offenderís probation officer.

Probation officers have two roles: they try to help the offender get his or her life on track, and they also monitor the offender to make sure he or she is compliant with the sentence. Probation officers are permitted to search an offenderís home without a warrant. They are expected to report any probation violations to the district attorney. In many DUI cases, the offender receives a suspended jail sentence. However, if probation is revoked, the offender will be required to serve out his or her jail time. In this event, the offender has the opportunity to attend a hearing to submit evidence and tell his or her side of the story. It is decided on a case-by-case basis whether an offender may be represented by an attorney during this process

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