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Alternative penalties for OWI offenses

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | OWI

There’s no doubt that our jails and prisons are overcrowded and that many of the people who are serving time behind bars would not be a danger to the community – at least if kept under some supervision. That can work to your advantage if you’re facing consequences for an OWI charge.

One alternative to serving time is what’s commonly known as “electronic monitoring” or sometimes “house arrest.” The Michigan Department of Corrections has an electronic monitoring program that allows some people to avoid jail time by wearing a monitor, commonly known as an “ankle bracelet” that uses GPS to track their location.

Generally, those who are allowed to participate in this program in lieu of going to jail can leave their home for work, school, court appointments and other court-mandated obligations. Their movements are monitored, and violations of the rules set for them are registered.

If a person was convicted of OWI, they may also be ordered to refrain from using alcohol. There are types of electronic monitors that can detect alcohol consumption as well.

Consequences for violating electronic monitoring requirements

A person who has agreed to wear an electronic monitoring device needs to understand that under Michigan law, removal, “destruction, or circumvention” as well as “interference with signal, impulse, or data” are prohibited and can result in additional criminal penalties.

Certainly, if you’re facing an OWI charge, the optimal outcome is to get it dismissed. This may well be possible if you were wrongly charged or if there were issues with the arrest and/or collection of evidence.

With experienced legal guidance, you have a better chance of getting the charge dismissed or lessened than if you tried to deal with it on your own. However, it’s also important to know that if that’s not possible, there are options that can keep you out of jail and minimize the effect of an OWI on your life.