If you have been sentenced to probation in Florida it is crucial that you abide by each and every term of the probation to avoid a trip back to jail. While some terms may seem unnecessarily restrictive, it is important to remember that until you complete your probationary period you remain under court supervision. One common question asked by individuals while on probation is whether or not they are allowed to drink alcohol while on probation. The answer depends on the specific terms of your probation; however, abstaining from the consumption of alcohol while on probation is always a good idea.

Probation may be ordered in addition to a term of incarceration or in lieu of a term of incarceration in Florida. Often, a defendant is actually sentenced to a term of incarceration which is then suspended by the court. The defendant is then required to complete a term of probation instead of actually serving the jail time ordered by the court. Keep in mind, however, that you can be ordered to serve the entire suspended sentence if you violate your probation.

The exact terms of probation can vary based on the criminal offense the defendant was convicted of as well as the defendant’s personal and criminal history. There are, however, some standard conditions of probation that include, but are not limited to, things such as:

  • Report to your probation officer as directed
  • Maintain employment or enrollment in school
  • Do not commit new crimes
  • Perform court ordered community service
  • Attend school, counseling, rehabilitation as ordered by the court
  • Do not use illegal drugs or legal intoxicants to excess

If the offense in your case was not a drug or alcohol related offense, and you have no history of drug or alcohol abuse, you may not be prohibited from consuming alcohol while on probation. You will, however, be expected to refrain from consuming alcohol “to excess”. For example, your probation officer may not say anything if he arrives at your home and there is a bottle of wine in your refrigerator but if you are drunk when he arrives you will have a problem.

If the offense in your case did involve drugs or alcohol, or you have a personal history of drug or alcohol abuse, the court will likely include a specific term in your probation that prohibits you from consuming alcohol. In that case, any consumption or possession of alcohol could be the basis for violating your probation. Be sure to discuss the terms of your probation with your criminal defense attorney to ensure that you are clear with regard to whether or not you are allowed to consume alcohol while on probation.  For more information, please contact Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC. at 1-855-PSF-FIRM or (727) 531-2926 for a free consultation.