DUI Probation – What is it?
DUI probation is one of the many punishments you can get against a DUI conviction. Other sentences can be jail time, community service, fines and driver’s license suspension. If you are sentenced for DUI probation you have to strictly adhere to the required terms and conditions of the sentence.
Understanding all the terms of your probation are really important, you can’t risk violation just by mere ignorance which can consequently result in either revocation of probation for a harsher penalty or extension in the period and severity of your probation.
DUI probation requirements
Although probation requirements vary for each state, county, city, and court I’m listing down the most probable ones.
- Wearing of an electronic alcohol monitoring device
- Installation of ignition interlock device
- Limited driving privileges
- Attending AA meetings
- Submission of alcohol level evaluations
- Scheduled sobriety tests
- Periodic reporting to the assigned probation officer
- DUI court costs and fee payments
The period of DUI probation depends on the severity of your DUI charges and also on the law of the state, county or court where you are convicted. If it’s a first time offense and it’s not much serious in nature you could get DUI probation of 3 months to 1 year. You can get a longer DUI probation if you are involved in drunk driving resulting in an accident or if someone gets injured, even if you are a first time offender. In other cases of second time offense or multiple DUI charges the probation may last up to 3 to 5 years.
Types of DUI probation
There are 2 types of probation:
1. Court probation: It means that you don’t have to report to a probation officer, but you have to abide by all other requirements of your probation sentence and may include absolutely no drinking and driving during that time period.
2. Formal probation: Which means reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis, this can range from periodic telephonic contacts to scheduled meetings in person which may include random sobriety and alcohol level evaluations.
The court decides taking in to consideration the circumstances of your DUI charges if a probation officer is to be assigned to you or not. The level of check exerted by a probation officer also varies from case to case.
Role of a probation officer
The probation officers not only help you get back on a normal life track but they also ensure that all the requirements of your probation sentence are being met with.
DUI probation violations
Not complying with your DUI probation terms and conditions can result in some devastating consequences resulting in enhanced punishment. You have to keep in mind that DUI probation was one of the many alternative options the judge could have sentenced including jail time, so make good use of this reform period.