"Mandatory Jail" isn't Mandatory
Penal Code sec 2900.5 (d) states:
If a defendant serves time in a camp, work furlough facility, halfway house, rehabilitation facility, hospital, juvenile detention facility, similar residential facility, or home detention program in lieu of imprisonment in a county jail, and the statute under which the defendant is sentenced requires a mandatory minimum period of time in jail, the time spent in these facilities or programs shall qualify as mandatory time in jail.
The term “community service” is not specifically defined anywhere in California law. In any event, courts have wide discretion to permit individuals to perform volunteer work in lieu of jail time in the community, usually at non-profit organizations.
This involves wearing an ankle bracelet that electronically monitors if the individual leaves a certain distance from the home telephone. This allows for the wearer to go to work or school, so long as they are home by an appointed time. Sometimes the participant also has to wear a bracelet that can detect alcohol in perspiration to make sure of no alcohol consumption.
This involves working for the county Probation Department. Usually the individual shows up a pre-scheduled time and place (i.e. County Animal Shelter), works for the day and goes home in the evening.
This option allows the participant to keep their own job by sleeping in the jail at night but they are released to go to work during the day.
Also known as "private jail" or "weekend jail." Many local police departments operate a City Jail program. Participants check themselves into the police station, and usually spend the night there, to be released sometime the following day. Although participants have to pay for this, usually the credits are better than the county jail and individuals can be released to go to work.
Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation:
While this is certainly not the case in every instance, Sometimes a DUI or drug-related arrest is merely the unfortunate symptom of an underlying addiction issue and it is best addressed by in-patient counseling as an alternative to jail. With proper timing, it is often possible to receive day for day credit against any jail time.
Long Term Sober Living:
On more serious cases such as felonies, DUI’s with injury or for multiple offenders, long term sober living is sometimes the best alternative. These are houses, both for men and women, with program lengths from 8 to 12 months with 12 month intensive out-patient schedules. Programs and cost vary, but residents are required to attend group and individual counseling sessions, a 12-Step meeting daily, participate in house groups and functions, and perform a household chores. Many insurance policies will cover this treatment.