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What are Random Screens for DUI Probation?

Question: I have a question for a Forsyth County DUI lawyer because I'm on probation in Forsyth County for a DUI and I have a question about those “random screens” for alcohol and drugs that the judge said I had to do while I'm on probation. I want to know when they can test and me and how they can test me. I really don't drink much or do serious drugs, but I'm worried that something could show up if I go out or spend time with friends or go to a concert in Atlanta or at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpahretta. I really only drink a little bit at dinner or at night and I only smoke marijuana about once a month.

I got the DUI when I was coming home from a party at my cousin's. She is getting married and a bunch of family and friends went to her house near the mall The Collection in Cumming. I was driving on Cumming Highway after the party and a Forsyth deputy sheriff said I was speeding. He gave me a breath test and he arrested me for drunk driving and I had to get bailed out of jail. I spent about 10 hours in the jail in Cumming.

It's was my first DUI ever and my first time ever getting arrested, at least since college about 30 years ago when I had a public intoxication charge after a football game in Athens, Georgia.

Since I'm on probation and I don't need any more trouble, I really want to understand what these random screens are for and what can happen to me if I test positive for alcohol or weed. Can my probation officer just make me take an alcohol or drug test?

R.G. in Alpharetta, GA

Answer: Probation officers in the state of Georgia have the right to administer drug or alcohol tests to people who are on probation for DUI. These tests are random, meaning that the probation officer can make you take one any time they choose. They don't have to warn you in advance that a test will be administered.

The tests can be of your blood, breath, saliva, hair follicle or urine. The probation officer does not need any reason for the test. They do not have to suspect that you were drinking or smoking pot. They can test you simply because they want to; they don't need to suspect anything. When you did your plea to the DUI in Forsyth County you agreed to submit random testing.

If you should fail a drug or alcohol test by testing positive for marijuana or alcohol, then the judge can sentence you to serve jail time. It is up to the judge to determine how much incarceration you would serve.

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