Am I allowed to serve my sentence for DUI on probation?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2019 | criminal defense

Driving under the influence or while intoxicated is a serious offense in Georgia, and a conviction might result in a sentence that includes jail time. Under certain circumstances, however, you may receive an alternative sentence such as mandatory attendance at a rehabilitation program, performing community service or probation. 

In the case of a Georgia woman who pleaded guilty to her fourth DUI, she received a sentence of 36-months, which included only 15 days of jail time. As reported by 11Alive, she will carry out the remainder of her 36-month sentence on probation. 

Chalking up repeated DUI charges in the Peach State can result in a felony conviction with up to five years of incarceration in a state prison. The Georgia woman’s sentence of 36-months for her fourth DUI may appear rather lenient at first, but the timing worked in her favor. The mandated felony charge and jail time applies for three convictions within a five-year period, but her most recent conviction was in 2009. Local reporting of the sentencing, however, was not without mention of surprise at the lack of a much lengthier jail term. 

When law enforcement officials arrived on the scene of the head-on collision the defendant caused, she admitted to taking anti-anxiety medication and drinking six alcoholic beverages. Allegedly intoxicated to the point of slurring her speech, she also had trouble standing up. She said she was babysitting her two nieces, but did not know where they were. Law enforcement later discovered that her nieces, aged 2 and 4, were at her home. 

Because the two children were not in the car with her at the time of the accident, it may have contributed to the judge awarding her a sentence allowing her to serve the majority of it on probation. It may also be helpful for a defendant to show that he or she has made an effort to obtain help in overcoming a dependence on drugs or alcohol. 

In addition to the probation and her brief jail time, the judge stipulated further sentencing requirements. She must also perform community service, submit to drug and alcohol tests at random times, undergo alcohol and drug treatment and pay fines. 

The intent of the information provided is to serve educational purposes only. Readers should not interpret the above content as legal advice.