Lindsay Lohan was recently sentenced to 90 days of county jail and 90 days of rehab for violating the terms of her probation related to her plea bargained conviction on two counts of DUI in 2007 (at that time, she also plead “no contest” to one count of reckless driving and two misdemeanor counts of being under the influence of cocaine). One of the terms of Ms. Lohan’s probation – standard for a California DUI conviction – required that she attend weekly alcohol education classes. Because Ms. Lohan missed several of her required classes without a valid excuse (after already having asked for a one-year extension from the court to complete the classes), the judge found at a hearing that she had violated the terms of her probation and, as a result, she imposed the 90 day jail/90 day rehab sentence.
Typically, when a person is convicted of DUI as Ms. Lohan was, the judge does not impose the full jail sentence permitted for the offense and instead imposes certain terms of probation and reduced or no jail time. For example, the maximum sentence permitted for a first DUI is 180 days in county jail; the maximum sentence permitted for a second DUI that occurred within 10 years of the first is 1 year in county jail.
During the probationary period (standard is three years), the person may be required to do certain things and/or may be required to refrain from doing other things. Common DUI probation terms include attending Alcoholic Anonymous classes; attending an alcohol or drug awareness program; spending a day at the morgue; payment of a fine; and agreeing not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
As of July 1, 2010, anyone convicted of a DUI for the first time in Los Angeles County (and a few others) must also install an Ignition Interlock Device – a small breathalyzer attached to the car ignition that prevents the car from starting if any alcohol is detected in the driver’s blood. If a person on DUI probation fails to comply exactly with the terms of probation set by the court, the judge will hold a hearing and may impose some or all of the jail sentence that he chose not to impose originally. So, in Ms. Lohan’s case, because the judge found that she failed to comply with the probation requirement that she attend weekly alcohol classes, the judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail and 90 days of rehab for violating her probation.