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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117420
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Hello, I was recently arrested for a DUI or OWI. It was one

Customer Question

Hello, I was recently arrested for a DUI or OWI. It was one day and I have never drank since. I went to court yesterday and am now scheduled for my first meeting with my probation officer on the 2oth of this month being June 2013. I would like to know what they will be offering me or requiring me to do at this initial probation meeting? Also will there be a drug test of some sort?

Thank you!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

I am afraid that the probation officer will not be "offering" you anything. The probation officer will be providing you with the requirements to satisfy your probation, which will include random drug and alcohol testing at your expense, substance abuse classes at your expense, payment of any fines and probation fees on time and monitoring you for completion of any other sentence imposed by the court. The initial meeting is where the probation officer will present you with the list of requirements while on probation and a list of the rules (such as no alcohol consumption at all while on probation, no consorting with known criminals, not driving without a proper license etc). The officer will also explain the drug/alcohol testing and the substance abuse class attendance and successful completion to you.

Depending on whether or not it is active or inactive probation, the officer will set up a meeting schedule with you to report to them. If probation is inactive, the officer will give you a number and instructions about when to call and check in with him.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not nor have I ever used drugs. I have no intention of drinking as it is not a normal circumstance that I take part in. As cliché as it sounds, I have a VERY down day and made the wrong decision to drink and now have to pay the penalty for that. What I am wondering is if it is standard practice for PO officers to require me to do a drug test upon our first meeting etc.... I understand that there may be random tests etc....... just wondering what the likely hood of this situation would be considering that this is my first offence. Thank you!

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response.

I am quite sure you are telling the truth that you do not use drugs and have no intention of drinking anymore, but that does not negate the fact you were charged with drinking this time and it does not mean you will not have to participate in the drug/alcohol testing and the substance abuse program as part of the punishment.

It is standard for the PO to at least order random testing. Some do it on the day you appear and others will wait and spring it on you at some other time. The reason for this is that if the person coming in for the first meeting knows for sure they will be tested at that time, then they are more likely to simply avoid consumption until after that test is over. If the defendant has no idea whether or not they will be tested at any probation meeting at any time, then they have no idea when they have to be clean.

The likelihood of being tested on the first meeting, however, is fairly high.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Would I be arrested at that time if something comes back positive and immediately be put in jail? The reason I ask is because I suffer from post tramatic stress diorder and abuse at home. I took some valium fro a girlfriend of mine and am nervous of what the result would be. Never did anything else.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

You would be arrested for a probation violation if you test positive for any substance, especially one you do not have a valid prescription for. Valium stays in your system generally no longer than 72 hours, but I would strongly suggest to you not to touch any prescription or controlled substance for which you do not have a valid doctor's prescription.

Also, if you are on prescription medications, because this is a substance abuse offense a condition of probation would usually be you cannot take any controlled substances, so you would need to go to court with a detailed letter from your doctor as to why any prescriptions you are taking are absolutely necessary to treat your condition and only the court can exempt you from that requirement.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your wonderful ratings. I am sorry that you are in the situation you are in, but we did not cause you to be in the situation, nor do we make up the laws that you are now faced with having to comply with. You put yourself where you are and you are now going to have to comply with the terms of your probation and they will test you randomly. Unfortunately, we are not your probation officer so we cannot tell you what your specific probation officer will do all we can tell you is what they can do. I wish you the best and thank you again so much and I hope all of this works out very well for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just assumed that since my charge was for alcohol consumption, there would be no further drug test.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you sincerely XXXXX XXXXX reply.

I am afraid that when someone is convicted of a substance abuse offense, probation will randomly check for all abused substances because they find that if someone has a substance abuse problem with alcohol and are not using alcohol they frequently switch to some other substance. This is why they change it up, so the person on probation has no idea what is being tested and has to remain clear of all substances and this is a condition normally imposed by probation and parole.