Can probation impose limits on your use of alcohol?
If you’re on probation, you must abide by the specific rules given to you by the court. For instance, you may be told that you have to meet with your probation officer on a set schedule. If you skip a meeting, even for what you believe to be a good reason, that can be a violation — and that could send you back to jail.
But what about things that are typically legal? Say you’re 30 years old. Drinking is legal and has been for nearly a decade. Can the terms of your probation limit or even prohibit your use of alcohol?
Probation often comes with many conditions
The court can put limits on your alcohol use. The crime you were charged with may play a role here. Make sure you carefully consider exactly what the court instructed so that you do not accidentally violate the rules.
For instance, alcohol use while driving is typically prohibited for those on DUI probation. Now, this may sound obvious, but remember that most drivers are subject to the legal limit of a BAC of 0.08%. If you got a DUI at 0.10% and the court told you that you could not get pulled over with any BAC level while on probation, you’re now on a zero-tolerance policy. If you have one beer with dinner and drive home, getting pulled over on the way, you may just blow 0.02%. That’s far below the legal limit, but you could still face serious penalties if you broke the terms of your probation.
What to do after a violation
Since probation often limits otherwise legal activities, you could accidentally violate the terms. If you are accused of a probation violation, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Help is available.