OMS Probation

Author: Mike Green

Ignition Interlocks

Ignition Interlocks

The Ignition Interlock is a very powerful tool in keeping Alcohol impaired drivers off of the road.  The driver is required to blow into the hand held device and blow through the mouth piece to provide a sample of their breath.  The device measures the Breath Alcohol Content and if there is no alcohol present the vehicle will start.  The Interlock also prompts the driver to give Rolling Re-tests while the vehicle is running.  This prevents a driver from driving down the road and drinking after the vehicle has been started.  If you happen to see a vehicle going down the road with horn honking and the head lights flashing on and off, get out of its way and dial 911.  That’s what happens when you fail a Rolling Re-test.  This is also intended to force the driver to pull over and shut the vehicle off so as not to draw attention to them.  Once the vehicle is shut off, the horn stops blowing and the lights stop flashing.

After the vehicle has failed the Rolling Re-test it will not start again and is locked out.  After a period of time, the driver may attempt to start the vehicle again but it will not start until the presence of alcohol is no longer detected.  The Ignition Interlock will also need to be replaced within 10 days forcing the driver to contact the Ignition Interlock provider to replace the device.  If the Ignition Interlock is not replaced the vehicle remains locked out and unable to drive.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the Ignition Interlock that discourage drivers that are required to have the device from having one installed.  The cost is on the average $75.00 per month and costs about $75.00 to install.  From the time we take an application we can have the device installed at one of the approved installation shops near you within a couple of days.  The devices have a chord much like an old telephone cord that curls up so the device can be laid near the driver where it can be reached comfortably when prompted to blow.  The cord also makes it convenient to place the device under the seat or in a console when the vehicle is not in use.

GPS And EM Monitoring

Utah allows DUI Offenders the opportunity to serve their Jail time on Electronic or GPS Monitoring.  Most Courts prefer GPS Monitoring to Electronic Monitoring so the Offender’s movements can be traced.  It also insures the Offender is where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be and not somewhere they’re not supposed to be.  EM Monitoring only tracks when the Offender is home or not.  It does not have the ability to track movement because it is limited by RF communication only.  EM Monitoring is a great alternative to Jail for Offenders that are seriously ill or elderly and not required to go to work.

GPS Monitoring is the best alternative to Jail.  With most Jails requiring Offenders to “Pay to Stay” it is often cheaper for the Offender to be on GPS House Arrest with Work Release.  If you find yourself in the position of facing Jail time be sure to have your Attorney request the Court to allow you to serve your Jail Time at home.   GPS House Arrest makes it possible for Offenders to keep their jobs, be with family and attend Treatment.

GPS And EM Monitoring

Court Ordered Community Service in Utah

If you have been ordered by the Court to perform Community Service as part of your conditions of probation, this article should help with answers to your questions.  We suggest you read this article and if you have any further questions ask your attorney, your Probation Supervisor or call the Court for further information.  We hope this article will answer your questions or concerns.

First of all consider it a blessing to have the opportunity to serve your community in lieu of going to jail and in some case in lieu of paying a fine.  Utah Courts have the option in some cases to allow for Community Service in lieu of jail time.  This is usually converted to hours from days in the case of jail time.  For example, 2 days in jail would be converted to 48 hours of Community Service.  10 days of jail would be converted to 240 hours of Community Service.  In some cases the Judge may order more Community Service hours as an additional punishment for not serving the jail time.

Community Service in lieu of Fine

When given the opportunity to do Community Service in lieu of paying a fine, the court will advise you at the time what the hourly rate converts to in dollars to be applied towards the fine.  Most Utah courts only allow $5.00 per hour to be applied.

What Counts Toward Community Service

What is acceptable to the court as legitimate Community Service can be quickly explained as, “volunteering your time to a non-profit organization that benefits the community”.  There are several examples of a non-profit organization like, Food Banks, Homeless Shelters, Soup Kitchens, Non Profit Animal Rescue and Service Dog Organizations.  You can also perform Community Service for the county, city or town that you live in if approved.  These types of service also include the Animal Shelter, Cemetery, Parks Department and even Land Fills that are operated by the county or city.

It is important that you keep a good record of the date and hours you worked. Include who was supervising you, their name and phone number so it can be confirmed you actually worked the hours and  then have them  sign or initial for that day.

Don’t Cheat

We have seen some Probationers try to cheat on their records and make up places where they supposedly performed Community Service or falsify their hours worked.  You should keep in mind that if you get caught falsifying information to the court, the judge could impose even more severe punishment than you were sentenced with at the beginning.  Honesty is always the best policy especially when there is a judge involved.

Volunteer for Non-Profit Organization Only

Make sure when you volunteer the organization is non-profit.  We have seen several Probationers work several hours at businesses that were willing to let them volunteer their time working, however it is not a benefit to the COMMUNITY, it is only a benefit to the Organization.  You should also keep in mind that performing a good deed for an individual or a family, although it is nice, it does not qualify as a benefit to the COMMUNITY.

Church Community Service

When it comes to volunteering through your church, remember it only counts when it is a benefit to the community.  Please keep in mind that helping to clean your church or maintain the landscape benefits you and your church but not the community as a whole.  On the other hand, if your church has a rummage sale and donates the money to a charitable organization or has a Food Drive and delivers the collected food to a Food Bank, you can volunteer your time and count those hours as Community Service.

 Don’t be tricked by Online Offers

Don’t be tricked by online offers via the internet to perform Community Service, or by attending a seminar that counts as Community Service.  Make sure the Community Service you perform is approved by the court you were sentenced in before you perform work hours.  Most counties have a Volunteer Center that can provide you with places to perform your Community Service for a small fee.  Your probation supervisor can also assist you with information where you can perform Community Service and what is acceptable or not.