Drivers convicted of DUI face stiff fines, suspension of their driver’s license and jail time. In many states there are alternatives that can take the place of jail time. Electronic monitoring is one such alternative. Electronic monitoring allows a DUI offender to serve his jail sentence at his home instead of behind bars. For repeat offenders, however,  electronic monitoring is often administered in addition to jail time. It also does not negate any fines or license suspensions in either case.

The offender can go to work work or school provided he adheres to a court-imposed curfew. He can also attend court appearances, Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, court-ordered education classes, court appearances or other places required per his probation. The offender must wear the device for a period equaling the length of his jail sentence, but it could be longer. There are some states that require an offender to serve a minimum of 24 hours of jail time for a DUI conviction even if he is being electronically monitored. If jail time poses a serious risk to the offender’s mental or physical well-being, he may receive 15 days of electronic monitoring instead.

Electronic monitoring works similarly to house arrest. The DUI offender is fitted with an ankle bracelet that electronically tracks the offender’s location 24/7. The bracelet has an electronic sensor that is linked via telephone lines to a main computer that sends off a constant signal. Any interruption in the signal alerts the computer system, which automatically records the date and time of the interruption and the date and time the signal resumes.

Usually the signal is interrupted due to the offender going beyond a court-mandated radius. If this occurs at a time the offender is supposed to be at home, a parole officer will investigate. If it is determined that the offender violated the terms of his electronic monitoring period, the offender can be put on house arrest.