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Home detention used to counter soaring Maricopa County jail costs

Posted on February 25, 2014 in DUI Charges

If it seems as if there is a constantly rising cost of living, you’re right. The rise in prices extends beyond the grocery store and gas station, however. It’s more costly than ever to be convicted of DUI. Among those feeling the pain are cities being charged more by Maricopa County tohouse inmates.

Some cities, including Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix and Glendale are increasingly opting out of housing DUI offenders at Maricopa County Jail and are instead turning to more cost-effective home detention programs, the Arizona Republic reports.

According to a Maricopa County Department of Finance report, the cost of housing an inmate for a single day in county jail is rising to $81.85, up more than 45 percent since 2006.

Valley cities feeling the pinch have been turning to alternatives including home detention and electronic monitoring for DUI offenders and other low-risk offenders.

Not only do the alternatives provide relief from jail costs, but the offenders themselves are required to pay for electronic monitoring. Fees range from $10 per day to $30 per day, though most courts will also allow for a sliding fee scale that can soften the financial blow for qualifying participants.

The electronic monitors track not only the wearer’s location, but also alcohol intake.

Arizona law mandates different jail sentences for DUI offenders, depending on blood-alcohol content and other factors. However, in some situations much of a jail sentence can be suspended with completion of a treatment program.

There are a wide range of factors involved in sentencing, jail alternatives and costs. Those who are facing possible jail time following a DUI arrest should discuss the available options with an experienced attorney.

Source:, “More offenders get home-detention option,” Megan Cassidy, Feb. 22, 2014

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