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Definition - What does Probation mean?

DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state. Drivers may be arrested for DUI if they are physically or mentally impaired by alcohol or their BAC or blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher and they are operating a motorized vehicle.

Punishments for a DUI vary by state but can include: jail time, community service, mandatory alcohol classes, fines, and a driver's license suspension. Under some conditions the court may also sentence a driver to probation. Probation means that the driver, instead of serving time in jail, will be subject to community supervision. Probationary periods vary based on a driver's previous DUI convictions. Probation may last from 3 months to several years and failure to meet the terms of the probation will allow the probation to be revoked and the driver may have to serve time in prison.

Common conditions of DUI probation can include:

  • The driver is not allowed to violate the law.
  • The driver can not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • The driver must maintain employment.
  • The driver must report to their probation officer.

In addition to probation, a driver may be required to pay monthly probation fees and court costs. Probation also is frequently accompanied by required community service and mandatory attendance in an alcohol education course. The amount of probation required can vary by state.

Related Links

  • Blood Alcohol Calculator -- understanding how the blood alcohol calculator determines DUI.
  • Community Service -- community work service for a DUI offense often is done to help increase the awareness of driving while intoxicated.

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