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Can I go to jail after my first DUI arrest?

DUI Driving arrest

Yes, you can. However, as a rule, you’re not going to. When the mandatory three-days were imposed years ago, lawmakers understood that most people would go to jail on the weekends. This would mean very crowded jails; the facilities cannot handle that influx on the weekends. As an alternative to the three-day minimum, the statute says, “three days in jail, or in a driver’s intervention program in a locked facility.”

Nearly all-88 counties, including Hamilton County, run these three-day intervention programs out of a hotel, and not a jail. They post an officer in the hallway, which satisfies the security requirement.

A driver’s intervention is a three-day protracted assessment process. These start at 5:30pm on Thursday nights, and end around 5:30pm on Sunday nights. The point of the program is to answer two questions: Do you have an alcohol problem? Are you likely to develop one?

The program leaders find the answers to these questions through a number of different avenues. On Saturday morning, when the true assessment starts, you would go through the objective portion. You would be given some true/false tests and a questionnaire to gauge where you stand on the two questions. There are also group counseling sessions in place to evaluate everyone.

Not everyone opens up in these group sessions, however. This group counseling session is sufficient for people who do, allowing an accurate assessment to be conducted. For those who do not participate in the group sessions, intervention leaders administer one-on-ones for about 30 minutes. From there, decisions are made about further care depending on how positive the answers were to the two questions.

Many people do not realize that going to one of these driver’s intervention programs does not remove the sentence. This three-day-intervention only decides what the care or treatment plan is following the stay. Two common responses to this program are: two or three AA meetings for 8-10 weeks, or 90-90 (this means 90 AA meetings in 90 days).  At the end of these programs, they do another assessment to measure growth.

You may be thinking, “Why would anyone go to jail when they could go to a hotel?” And the reason is money. Some people opt to go to jail because they either can’t or don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to go to participate in this intervention program for three nights. There are ramifications, but it is often the person’s choice whether they go to the intervention or jail.

The important thing to remember is that the three-days are not the punishment for the DUI. It is an evaluation for what the treatment will be for after care.

Saving on attorney’s fees is not worth it when the bill for the after care treatment comes up. Contact The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. as soon as possible after a DUI charge. This may actually save you money in the long run.