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Dormont DUI

DUI Hotel Gains Popularity in Allegheny County

200274139-001The Allegheny DUI Alternative to Jail Program, known as DUI Hotel, has recently celebrated its third year. Started in October 2010, the program offers first-time DUI offenders the option of spending four nights in a hotel taking educational classes and group therapy sessions rather than up to 72 hours in jail.

Since its inception, more than 1,500 people in Allegheny County have chosen DUI Hotel. The program enables participants to complete their sentences in just four days without having to serve any probation. Participants pay $500 for the program; the hotels contracted to house the participants are located in Oakland and West Mifflin.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

5 Goals of DUI Hotel in Allegheny County

200274121-001DUI Hotel, established in late 2010 and modeled after a similar jail-alternative program in Ohio, offers most first-time DUI offenders in Allegheny County an opportunity to complete their sentencing requirements in just four (4) days. Goals of the program include:

(1)  Speed Things Up: Reduce the administrative backlog being created by use of probation’s electronic monitoring system.

(2)  Save Money: Create a self-sustaining alternative to jail other than house arrest that reduces overall costs to the system.

(3)  Make it Easy: Simplify offenders’ ability to complete the required activities and interventions for a first-time DUI offense.

(4)  Avoid Probation: Lessen the number of DUI offenders returning to court for probation violations.

(5)  Reduce Recidivism: Decrease the number of first-time DUI offenders returning for second and third offenses.

For a free consultation with an Allegheny County DUI lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

DUI Carries Minimum Sentences in Pennsylvania

200274121-001Pennsylvania law carries a mandatory minimum sentencing requirement for all DUI convictions. This means that judges may have little or no discretion in sentencing decisions.

In most cases, a first-time conviction for DUI requires several days of jail time, DUI hotel, or house arrest with electronic monitoring. Additionally, offenders must pay a fine, forfeit their driver’s license for one year, complete Alcohol Highway Safety School DUI classes, and submit to drug and alcohol screening.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What is DUI Hotel?

SO000183In Allegheny County, DUI Hotel has quickly become the default sentencing option for most first-time DUI offenders. An alternative to jail, DUI Hotel offers participants the opportunity to complete all their required penalties during an intensive four-day program lasting from Thursday to Sunday. It is geared toward first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) exceeding .10.

But what exactly is DUI Hotel?

Just as it sounds, participants spend four days in an actual hotel – located either in Oakland or some 20 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Participants enter the hotel on Thursday night and undergo a check-in process that includes a Breathalyzer test. Participants’ luggage is inspected, as alcohol and non-prescription drugs are strictly prohibited. The first night concludes with a group dinner and introduction to the program.

For the next three days, DUI offenders participate in classes and group therapy facilitated by Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Mon-Yough Community Services, Alternatives, and Mercy Behavioral Health. The group therapy sessions aim to encourage participants to examine their behavior.

DUI Hotel is relatively cheap. Each participant pays $500 for the program, which includes a shared hotel room, food, and the classes. Participants may have their own private room for an additional cost of $350 ($850 total). Courts often assist low-income people by delaying sentencing to give them more time to raise the money.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI and criminal lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

ARD Gives Offenders A Second Chance

139378055In Allegheny County, first-time non-violent offenders may qualify for the ARD program, which gives them a second chance for a clean criminal record. ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. It is commonly offered to first-time DUI offenders.

ARD participants agree to a probationary period lasting from six months to two years that may include community service, restitution, and offense-specific classes. Although the program isn’t cheap – court costs alone exceed $2,600 – successful completion of ARD allows an offender’s record to be erased or expunged.

To learn if you are eligible for ARD, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.