Some changes in DUI law went into effect at the beginning of 2012. They include more flexibility in sentencing options, but defendants lost a statutory right to jury trial. Here is a brief summary of the changes:

Less initial actual jail time (more suspended sentence allowed) if ignition interlock is installed:

  • for extreme DUI, suspended sentence can now start after only 9 days initial jail time
  • for super extreme DUI, suspended sentence can now start after only 14 days initial jail time

Home Confinement (house arrest):

  • first time regular DUI offenders can be released to home confinement after only 1 day initial jail time
  • extreme or super extreme DUI offenders can be released to home confinement after only 20% of their initial jail time is served

Combination of new ignition interlock and home-confinement laws:

  • an extreme DUI offender can now potentially be released to home confinement after only 2 days (20% of minimum 9 days un-suspended when interlock installed)
  • a super extreme DUI offender can now potentially be released to home confinement after only 3 days (20% of minimum 14 days un-suspended when interlock installed)

License suspensions and revocations:

  • The length of license suspensions and revocations will be reduced. For example, the revocation will be reduced to one year for a Class 4 Felony Aggravated DUI conviction.

Credit for time served during booking:

  • Defendants who spent time at the police station when they were first arrested may get credit for time served; in some cases this could mean no further jail time is required if convicted.

Loss of statutory right to jury trial for first time DUI suspects with BAC under 0.15%:

  • There is arguably still a common-law right to jury trial, so expect to see this challenged in due time.