Do I Have to Be On Probation for a DUI?

Question: I really don't want to be on probation at all for my DUI. But I was told that I have to do some probation. I got a DUI in Cherokee County after going to dinner in Woodstock.

I took my two daughters to dinner after a gymnastics meet where they both did great. The girls like a particular restaurant on Highway 92 in Woodstock. We go there after gymnastics or dancing or going to the gun range. At dinner I had some drinks like I always do. I didn't think I was near being drunk so I tried to drive home with the girls. The car in front of me stopped short and a hit it. It was a small accident, a real fender-bender. But the Cherokee cops came and I know they smelled alcohol.

The policeman asked me if I'd been drinking and I said yes. I didn't want to lie. I did all those tests that they make you do on the side of the road. The cop arrested me and took me to the Cherokee jail.

So I wound up catching a DUI and a couple of child endangerment charges. My question is about DUI probation. I don't want to be on probation for drunk driving because I travel a lot for work and I don't want any issues with that.

C.C. in Woodstock, GA

Answer: Under Georgia law, if you are convicted of DUI you must be placed on probation. Probation for a first DUI is usually 12 months.

In some courts, the prosecutor and the judge will agree that you can do “non-reporting probation” once all of the conditions of the sentence are fulfilled (that's things like paying your fine, doing community service, completing DUI school, etc.). On non-reporting probation, you are technically on probation, but you do not have to report to a probation officer every month. The conditions of probation, however, are still in effect (like no drinking or illegal drug use).

You need to have your attorney speak with the prosecutor and request non-reporting probation to the judge. Some judges will allow non-reporting probation and other judges will not.

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