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Why do DUI offenders get five or six chances before they serve jail time?

Certain DUI offenders will be sentenced to jail on the first offense. The likelihood of incarceration increases substantially on any subsequent offense. It is ultimately the Judge's responsibility to sentence the defendant. The State will evaluate the case and make a recommendation to the Court for what the State feels is an appropriate sentence. The defense attorney is also given the opportunity to convince the Judge not to send the defendant to jail. The final decision lies with the Judge.