Repeat DUI offenses are a recipe for jail time. In some states, however, repeat offenders may be given a chance to clean up their act by a court-ordered stay in a sober living environment. This measure may reduce or replace a jail sentence depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident in which the offender is found to be at fault while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Fees and/or fines resulting from the DUI conviction may also be reduced as well. A stay at a sober living environment is typically recommended to those DUI offenders with long-term substance abuse or alcohol problems.
The sober living environment is a home or apartment building set up to provide housing, supervision, guidance and support to residents while they “get clean” and adapt to a drug-free lifestyle. The residents are required to stay sober and take part in group sessions, counseling, 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous to help residents deal with their addiction and prevent future abuse as well as subsequent DUIs. These sessions may take place in the house or at an outside location. The residents sets the rules for residents to adhere to, and residents are required to participate in the residential community and perform household chores like cooking and cleaning. In addition, the residents are expected to work or attend school.
A sober living environment is also a safe haven for people who have participated in a formal drug or alcohol rehabilitation program who no longer need to be medically supervised as they detox but still need some support as they transition to a life free of drugs or alcohol.