Question: I got a DUI and now I'm on probation. I've been on probation for about 5 months. I travel for work and we sometimes have to go to dinner with clients. At those dinners the clients drink wine, beer or mixed-drinks. Some of our clients really like to have a few drinks and some definitely get drunk. I'm not a big drinker but I do like a drink sometimes.
And with this DUI and the probation I've pretty much stayed away from drinking anything, although I have had a few drinks while watching sports. But I've heard that if you're on probation you shouldn't drink.
I've heard that if you get caught drinking on probation then you can actually get a probation violation.
My boss wants me to have some drinks with clients. He said it's good for business and if I don't drink the clients can get insulted and feel self-conscious having a good time.
So before I start drinking again with clients, I wanted to ask if I should drink and if I get caught what can happen to me.
C.L. in Alpharetta, GA
Answer: Under Georgia law, if you are on probation for DUI you are prohibited from drinking any alcoholic beverages. If you get caught, it's a probation violation and the judge can send you to jail for the remainder of your sentence. Many people are sent back to jail because of probation violations. The sentence can be anywhere from a couple of days to months. It's at the discretion of the judge.
As for getting caught, detection methods have become quite sophisticated recently and tests can now detect alcohol at far smaller levels than a breathalyzer test. The EtG (Ethyl Glucuronide) test is sensitive to alcohol 3 or 4 days after consumption. So while a breathalyzer test won't detect any alcohol several days after drinking, the EtG test will.
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