Sunday, November 21, 2010

DUI Home Arrest Program A Success In Scottsdale

A house arrest and ankle-monitoring program for some offenders convicted of DUI has saved Scottsdale more than $200,000 in its first five weeks, officials said. The program saves the city money because it doesn't have to pay the jail costs to incarcerate DUI offenders. Instead, the offenders are monitored at home and can continue to work. The City Council in June approved home detention and use of electronic monitoring devices for sentencing eligible offenders in city court. At the time, city officials estimated yearly savings would be about $500,000, said Janet Cornell, the court administrator. But the city is on track to save much more. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 8, 116 defendants have become eligible to participate, with an estimated savings of $209,000, Cornell said. The savings potential is promising, especially at a time when Scottsdale is struggling with a potential $28 million budget shortfall for next year.

Stricter DUI laws, passed in 2009, require jail time for all DUI offenses. Home-detention programs aren't new. Arizona law has allowed a city or town to create such programs for years. Most Valley city courts already have similar programs. But when Scottsdale City Court officials were look for ways to trim costs earlier this year, the program made sense. The home-detention and ankle-monitoring program costs the offender a $100 start fee, then about $20 per day afterward. Right now if someone goes to a Maricopa County jail, the first day costs $192. Each additional day is $72. The first 15 days are mandatory and must be served in jail. That requirement continues. But any jail time required after the 15 days can be served at home, if the defendant is eligible.

The information in this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Please contact us to obtain legal advice pertaining to your situation.

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