Sentencing Whiteboard: Active Sentences for DWI

Do DWI sentences really get cut in half? Can DWI inmates be paroled? What happens when the minimum and maximum sentence for a DWI are the same? These questions and more are answered in today’s video post.


As you’ll see, the video applies the relevant statutes and administrative rules to show how an active sentence for a DWI is served. The results can be surprising. It’s important to bear in mind, though, that just because a DWI inmate has served enough time to be parole eligible does not mean that he or she will be paroled. Shea discussed that issue here.

It’s also important to remember that many DWI sentences are not active sentences. They are, rather, probationary sentences that include a term of imprisonment as part of “special probation”—better known as a split sentence. The “good time” and parole rules discussed in the video do not apply to split sentences at all. They would, however, apply to a DWI defendant whose probation is revoked.

5 thoughts on “Sentencing Whiteboard: Active Sentences for DWI”

  1. Good post. As a practical matter, how does DAC know that an inmate obtained an assessment and complied with the treatment prior to being sentenced? Would the judgment need to reflect this? I am contemplating situations where you know your client is going to get hammered (speaking metaphorically), but to minimize his prison time you tell him to get the assessment and complete the treatment recommendations.

    On a related note, is DAC actually giving early parole consideration to inmates in this circumstance, or are they having to max out.

    Good work as always.

    • Jamie,

      I was wondering the same thing as the poster above: does submission to and completion of recommended treatment PRIOR to sentencing count for the purposes of parole eligibility? Or does the person have to do the treatment in the custody of DAC?



  2. Question; regarding the residential treatment and DAC in DWI; if part of the judgment states the defendant shall complete the DART program and he is given a 24 month min 24 month max;and being that the DART program is 90 days; and the defendant completes the DART program how will DAC treat his parole eligiblity???

  3. I have a client who had multiple DWI cases and was sentenced on all of them by arrangement to a total of 3 years. She is serving that in misdemeanor confinement in the county jail. How is she to get the benefit of anything?


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