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JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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What can happen if I test possitive for alcohol on probation

Resolved Question:

If I test positive for alcohol on probation what could be the outcome?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

Why are you on probation and for how long?

Have you ever been violated?

What was your probation officer's reaction?

How old are you?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am on probation for a DUI and property damage to my car and a sign. Never been in trouble in my life and lived in Florida all my life right here in Venice. My probation officer said she wasn't allowed to hear that but I didn't know that. I thought if I was honest with her and come forward she could do something or say something to the judge why I did it. It wasn't to just go out and screw the system and get drunk and drive and say hey I can still do this ha ha...No, I had a couple of drinks to celebrate the boys' win. I know so many people that do drugs over and over and are in and out of jail like revolving doors and go out and do the same thing. How could a judge seriously consider putting me in jail knowing I have 4 children to take care of or they go to the system and what to do with my mother. I am 43 years old, I dodge frogs in the road, help old men at public in the parking lot bring the carts back in when its raining or hot. I have always put my family first and they know it.

Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

So you do not know if it showed up in the test (it would not show on a drug screen... but there are alcohol screens that could pick it up the next day). However, you admitted to the probation officer up front that you had consumed wine against your probation conditions. Did your PO say she would violate you or discuss any other option?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I told her exactly what I did after I gave her the cup of urine. I started crying and she said you know you were not supposed to drink any alcohol while on probation. I asked her well if it does show up what can you do and she said she would have to violate me or she could loose her job. I begged her to please give me another option. She told me to call her today and I did but she did not return my call. I know she knows I am a good probationer. I know she likes me. I have done everything I needed to do on probation and am up to date on fines and everything. I just had a couple of glasses and now I could end up in jail. I'm so freaking out about this. I can't sleep or eat. I'm crying all the time. Where do my kids go if she does arrest me what happens to my mom. I am such a great person involved with everyone of my child's sports, don't miss a beat with any of them. This would devastate my family.....

Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

First off... do not panic. If they jailed every DUI offender who drank a glass of wine or beer while on probation then you would not be able to build jails big enough. I am a little disappointed in your probation officer and suspect she may be simply talking tough in order to get her point across. Obviously I do not KNOW what your probation officer will do and I cannot predict what a judge would do, but I do not think it is time to panic. There are a few steps you need to take to protect yourself from being unduly punished for this violation of your probation.

1) You need to talk to a local attorney. How a district handles this will depend on numerous factors that are different from county to county and state to state. A local attorney will know the judge and what his/her policies are and how they treat people who are violated for DUI probation for taking a drink... again I assure you that you are not the first person to do this. I would imagine your attorney will tell you that you are worrying more than necessary. You may even decide to hire the attorney to come and speak on your behalf if a violation warrant is issued.

2) You need to see to it that you are in compliance in EVERY other way with your probation. If you are behind on fees... catch up. If you were supposed to do public service work... finish it. If you are supposed to be in DUI classes or meetings... do not miss one. Make sure you are an absolute model probationer.

3) Do not panic and overreact. You may not be violated and even if you are it may only result in extended probation, public service, a drug/alcohol assessment, etc... While you would potentially face jail time, remember that courts are mainly concerned with correcting your behavior in the least restrictive and expensive manner possible.

Please reply if I can help further.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Ok, well thank you for saying that. It does make me feel a little better. I have finished everything the DUI class, my community hours my 10 sessions of counseling has been completed a couple months ago. I pay every month, never missed an appointment and am up to date with my fines.

Do you have any idea when alcohol leaves the system if I had 3 drinks Wednesday night between 8.30 and 11.00. Did not go take the test till the next day at 4.30. Do you think or no if it would show up. Some people say yes and some say no it would be out by then. Do you have an opinion at that at all. My probation officer said it can take up to 80 hours for alcohol to get through the system.

Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.
Do you know the type of test they are using?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Not really but I did go on the internet because she had mention 80 hours it could be detected and there is something called a ETG? Its a very expensive test and it only tests for alcohol. But I didn't pay for it so I don't know who does. Have you heard of anything like that?

Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

Yes. My district uses one. It doesn't detect alcohol but it detects the direct metabolite of alcohol (ethyl glucuronide). The test is pretty accurate though not infallible. The problem here is that you admitted to consuming alcohol so there will be no disputing a positive result.

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