What Will My Probation Officer Do If I Fail an Alcohol Test?

By Elizabeth (Lisa)Thompson
Drinking while on probation can result in a prison term.

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Individuals on probation must abide by specific terms and conditions as ordered by the court. Because most probationers have issues with substance abuse, they are not allowed to drink alcohol. If they do, they can suffer a wide range of consequences.

Types

The courts almost always mandate probationers not drink at all if the defendant is placed on probation for any type of substance abuse offense. In addition, if he was using drugs or alcohol when he committed the present offense, the probationer will not be permitted to drink alcohol at all. The exception to this can include white collar crimes such as fraud or identity theft.

Variables

Many variables can impact the consequences for drinking while on probation. If the original probation offense was alcohol-related, especially a drinking and driving offense, the courts will view failing an alcohol test in a harsher light. Other variables include how much alcohol was consumed, the probationer's overall performance on probation and the circumstances surrounding the offender's consumption of alcohol.

Consequences

The consequences for drinking while on probation vary. Sanctions can include additional fines, additional time on probation, either outpatient or inpatient counseling, suspension or revocation of driver's license or the need to use an ignition interlock device. At its most extreme, the defendant could receive an additional probation term, intensive probation supervision or a jail or prison sentence.

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