The Difference Between Summary Probation And Alternative Sentencing

The penalties for a DUI in California depend on two major factors: whether the accused has previous DUIs on their record, and if anyone was injured or killed as a result of the DUI. For a first-time DUI offense, a driver is usually sentenced to a minimum of 48 hours in jail with a maximum of up to six months. For a second offense, the driver is facing between 96 hours and 1 year in county jail. The sentencing becomes more severe with each DUI. Almost every DUI offender is sentenced to some form of probation, as the Augusta Free Press reports. 

There are two different probations that may be assigned to DUI convictions. The first is the general probation that accompanies every DUI charge. The second is “alternative sentencing” that a judge can assign instead of spending time in jail. 

Probation is “summary probation” where offenders are not monitored. While on probation, the offender should not commit any crimes. Parking tickets or speeding tickets do not count but driving without a license or driving without insurance is considered a crime. The offender must also submit to a blood, urine, or breath test if a law enforcement officer arrests them on a new DUI charge. 

The offender is also prohibited from driving with any level of alcohol in their system.  Any level of alcohol in their system will constitute a violation of probation if they are driving. 

In the alternative sentencing program, the offender has requirements that must be fulfilled, or they can go to jail. These requirements include completing their assigned community service, completing Caltrans roadside work, enrolling in alcohol education programs, and electronic monitoring of their blood-alcohol level.

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