Can you drink alcohol while on parole? This is one of the most common questions that people charged with a criminal or DUI case have had due to the complexity of different State laws in the United States.
In a nutshell, the greater majority of State laws prohibit people from taking drugs and alcohol when they are criminally charged. However, there are some US States that are more lenient when it comes to alcohol consumption.
The goal of this article is to help you understand what the parole system is trying to accomplish, which places allow the consumption of alcohol, and what would happen should you violate the terms of your parole.
Why It’s Not Okay to Drink on Parole
You may have heard stories about parolees being sent directly to jail because of a parole violation. Drunk while intoxicated is a very serious offense in the US that is grounds for apprehension, or worse, jail time. Almost 37 people die from crashes on an everyday basis.
Parole is basically a way for individuals to get accustomed back to the community while being incarcerated. It is usually given to individuals who haven’t committed major problems while serving time in prison. They are also handed to individuals who didn’t commit major crimes.
For individuals who have committed criminal charges while intoxicated, the goal of the parole is the following:
- Abstain individuals from drinking alcohol – this is especially true for people who have committed grave criminal charges related to alcohol. Because drunk driving is a very common issue in the US. The government enforced harsher penalties for violators, with the exception of a few states.
- Court-Ordered Treatment Programs (Alcoholics Anonymous and Behavioral Treatment) – several US states require individuals to undergo AAs or treatment centers, regardless of the severity of the crime committed.
Common State Laws when Drinking Alcohol on Parole
Almost every US State has enforced the same rule for drinking alcohol on parole. The good news is in some states, you are allowed to drink if your criminal record doesn’t involve a DUI or alcohol-related violence. Otherwise, you are expected to abstain from any form of mind-altering substances for the remainder of your sentence.
Here are some US States that have a unique approach when it comes to alcohol consumption while on parole.
Florida has a more lax approach when it comes to alcohol consumption while on probation. In South Florida, people who are on parole are allowed to drink as long as they are not drunk. In fact, having a couple of bottles of beer is deemed safe. For wine lovers, as long as it doesn’t involve finishing the entire bottle, it’s acceptable. However, if you have DUI charges, it’s important to check with your attorney to understand the terms and conditions of your parole.
In the State of Ohio, there are conviction-specific restrictions in place depending on the nature of the crime committed. If you are not convicted of drug and alcohol-related crimes, then you’re not allowed to have alcohol at home or in any establishment that serves alcohol. However, if it’s non-alcohol or drug-related, your parole officer has the authority to allow or deny this request.
States That Have Stricter Compliance in Alcohol Consumption While on Parole
There are some States that have harsher penalties for parolees who have violated the law. Some of these US States not only prevent parolees from drinking alcohol, they also ban them from entering bars and pubs.
While some of the rules vary from one parole officer to another, the general consensus is to make parolees abstain from drug and alcohol use until the end of their sentence. Listed below are some US States that almost have a zero-tolerance policy with alcohol consumption for parolees.
According to Hawaii State laws, it is important for parolees to refrain from any use of drugs and alcohol without a prescription. They are also required to mandatory drug and alcohol testing via urinalysis, which is to happen periodically. In addition, parolees are not allowed to enter bars or pubs while their sentence is active.
According to Roth Davies Trial Lawyers LLC, almost all probation contracts in the State of Kansas prevent parolees from the use of drugs and alcohol. The state also has new ETG tests that can detect alcohol in your body for up to 7 days. However, having a positive result on the urinalysis can be contested if you have not consumed alcohol and drugs during the time.
In Kentucky, convicted felons are not allowed to purchase, possess, use, or administer alcohol unless prescribed by a physician. Parolees are also subject to drug and alcohol testing periodically and unannounced to deter convicted felons from breaking the rules of their probation.
In the State of Texas, parolees are prohibited from consuming alcohol regardless of age and criminal charges. Once you are proven to have violated the law, then you will immediately be subjected to a Motion to Revoke Probation (MTR). The worst case scenario is you would be put under arrest and subject to incarceration.
Repercussions for Parole Violations
While some people might think that drinking while on parole is not that serious, most parole officers think otherwise. Here are the most common penalties for violating your parole, regardless of your state.
- Full Parole Revocation – typically given to parolees who have a history related to criminal charges with alcohol and drugs. It basically means you will be sent back to jail until your sentence has been carried out completely.
- Partial Parole Revocation – this means you will be sent back to jail for a shorter time with a chance of getting back on parole.
- Extended Jail Time – if your parole officer deems it necessary, they have the authority to request additional jail time at their discretion.
If the question “Can you drink on parole?” still doesn’t give you a concise answer, the best thing you can do is to contact your attorney and allow them to study the terms of your parole. They are the best people that can find compromises or loopholes.
However, if you want to play it safe, the best move is to abstain from drinking alcohol until you’re done with your sentence. While some may find alcohol irresistible, remember that spending the rest of your sentence in jail is worse than controlling your urge to drink.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.