If you are convicted of DUI in Utah, one of the penalties may be electronic monitoring, which allows the police, probation officers, and others to track your location 24 hours a day. Salt Lake City DUI defense attorney Darwin Overson explains when home confinement may be ordered for drunk driving, and how DUI-related electronic monitoring works in Utah.
When is Electronic Monitoring a Penalty for Intoxicated Driving in Utah?
Many different penalties can result from a DUI conviction in Utah, including fines, jail time, license suspension, and probation. In some cases, the judge will sentence the defendant to electronic monitoring, even if he or she has no prior history of drunk driving offenses. Monitoring may take the place of jail time, or, in the case of felony DUI, be sentenced in addition to jail or prison time. DUI is a felony when:
- It is the person’s third offense within 10 years.
- It causes someone to be seriously injured.
- The driver has any prior convictions of felony DUI or vehicular homicide.
When a person is convicted of a first-offense DUI in Utah, DUI is a misdemeanor, and the defendant will be sentenced to either 48 hours in jail, 48 hours of “compensatory service” (participation in a work program), or electronic monitoring.
A second-offense DUI is also a misdemeanor, but the length of the sentence increases. If a defendant is convicted of DUI for a second time, the judge may sentence him or her to either 10 days in jail, 10 days of compensatory service, or electronic monitoring.
If a person is convicted of DUI for a third time, making the DUI a felony, he or she will be sentenced to either 1,500 hours in jail (almost 63 days), or up to five years in prison. In addition to sentencing the defendant to jail or prison time, the judge may also sentence the defendant to electronic monitoring after he or she has been released.
For misdemeanor DUIs, electronic monitoring may take the place of jail time. However, for felony DUI, jail or prison time must be sentenced, and additional monitoring may be sentenced.
How Does Home Confinement Work if You Were Convicted of Drunk Driving?
Every state has different laws that govern the use of electronic monitoring as a criminal penalty. If you are convicted of DUI in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, you will be subject to the regulations outlined by Utah Code § 41-6a-506 (Electronic Monitoring Requirements for Certain Driving Under the Influence Violations).
The purpose of electronic monitoring is to “alert the appropriate corrections, probation monitoring agency, law enforcement units, or contract provider of the defendant’s whereabouts” – in short, to make sure the police, your probation officer, and other parties know exactly where you are at any given time. If you are sentenced to electronic monitoring for DUI, the law requires you to:
- Wear your monitoring device “at all times.”
- Keep a monitoring device in your home, or any other location the court specifies.
- Pay for any monitoring-related expenses, unless the court determines that it would be an undue financial burden, in which case you can get a waiver that excuses you from paying.
Though you will have to pay for any costs of monitoring (unless you obtain a waiver), you will not be expected to install the device yourself. The court will appoint a probation officer, a corrections officer, or someone from a private company to set up the device in your home to ensure it is correctly configured and working properly.
Depending on the situation, the court may decide it is appropriate to impose a few additional conditions. For example, the court might:
- Require your monitoring device to work like a breathalyzer.
- Limit how much alcohol you are allowed to drink while you are under house arrest (“home confinement”).
- Make exceptions to confinement that allow you to travel to and from work or school at specified times and locations. You will be expected to stay on a strict, predetermined route, and will not be allowed to visit any locations other than those which have been approved by the court.
Contact a Salt Lake City DUI Defense Attorney for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a family member was arrested for DUI in Salt Lake County, Wasatch County, Davis County, Utah County, Weber County, Rich County, Cache County, or other parts of Utah, representation by a skilled criminal attorney is essential to ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected. Depending on the circumstances, it may even be possible to have your case dismissed.
Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson is a highly experienced West Valley City DUI lawyer representing juveniles and adults charged with intoxicated driving offenses, including DUI with marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, and other controlled substances. If you or one of your loved ones was charged with drunk driving or drugged driving in Utah, call Overson Law immediately at (801) 758-2287 to talk about your case in a free and completely confidential legal consultation. You may wish to read some information about Utah DUI in addition.