Roth said the prison, opened in 1986, was built to house 504 prisoners. As of Tuesday, it had 984, he said.
There are about 60 DUI offenders in the prison on a typical weekend, composing 6 percent of the population, according to District Attorney Michael D. Marino.
Also, allowing drunken drivers to go home on weekends from prison would not deter people from driving while drunk, President Judge William T. Nicholas said.
"The DUI person was the wrong type of person to be placed in this program," Nicholas said.
Nicholas said the house-arrest program may be applied to people convicted of other crimes, however. "These are people that are generally serving sentences of two, three, four, five and up to 11 1/2 months," Nicholas said.
For example, a prisoner convicted of a felony for stealing $2,000 worth of property might be offered house arrest if the judge agreed to it, he said.
Michael Hamel, Montgomery County's chief adult-probation officer, said house arrest might also be offered to minor offenders serving the last quarter of their sentence - subject to the approval of the probation office.
Hamel said those who violated parole might also be placed under house arrest rather than being placed in the prison. He said that would help alleviate the court's backlog of parole-violation cases as well as reducing the prison population.
The committee expects to begin implementing the house-arrest program by this summer.