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If you are on probation for DUI, can you go to the bar with friends who are drinking?

Lemoore, CA |

I'm on probation for 5 years. Can I still go to the bar with my friends even though I'm on probation? Can I get arrested for that? Can they get arrested for being with me?

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Attorney answers 3


It depends on the terms of your probation. I assume it's DUI probation you're on, correct? If so, one of the terms may have been to not drink alcohol and "do not frequent any establishment where the primary item for sale is alcohol." That would preclude bars and liquor stores.

If the terms of your probation are only towards drinking and driving, then it would not preclude you from drinking in a bar. I can almost guarantee you've got a term of probation that you cannot drive with ANY measurable amount of alcohol in your system. That means that if you're on DUI probation, the "legal limit" of 0.08% doesn't apply to you. If you register any alcohol at all, you're automatically in violation.

A word of caution, though... there are new "zero tolerance" laws for driving with ANY alcohol in your system if you're on probation for DUI. This can result in new charges in addition to a violation of probation allegation.


In addition to the excellent advice Mr. Dane gave you, can I weigh in? I notice that your probation is for FIVE years, which indicates it was likely an alcohol related felony, most probably DUI with injury to someone. Am I right? And you are anxious to get back to drinking? Maybe, just maybe, is it time to seriously attend A.A., not just to satisfy lawyers or courts, but to get control of your life?

Assuming that you did NOT have a "do not drink any alcohol" condition on your probation, driving while drunk is not the ONLY way drinking can cause you problems. Getting drunk and getting into a fight in a bar could easily result in getting your probation revoked and going to prison. My friend, if you need alcohol this badly that you need to tempt fate AGAIN, you need A.A. or a similar program badly. I see what your drinking is doing to you. I can only guess what it is doing to your family. Think about it. Good luck.


In addition to the advice of my colleagues, I'd like to share a saying I heard from an addiction counselor who has helped many of my clients.

"If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you're going to get a haircut."

If you are allowed to go into bars but not allowed to drink, you might still cave in to peer pressure.

Even if you are allowed to drink under the terms of your probation, we all know that alcohol lowers your inhibitions and people do things they would never do if they were sober.

I've never heard a client say, "I planned to go out, get drunk, do something stupid and get arrested for a felony."

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