When someone gets accused of DUI, are there restrictions on what they can do before a hearing?

I know a man who told me he was arrested for DUI, though he blew a 0.04. Spent the night in jail for it, and now says the police told him he isn’t allowed to drink alcohol until his hearing. Could that be true, or is there more to this story? What would make that story true?

Asked on September 6, 2010 under Criminal Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The police cannot, by themselves, restrict people's rights or dictate their behavior. (It might well be a good *idea* to do as they say, but that's a different matter.)

There are several ways it could be true:

* If there was a previous DUI/DWI and one condition of it whatever outcome, settlement, verdict, etc. was that if the man had another DUI, he would refrain from alcohal, that would be enforceable.

* It's possible that that the man went before a judge as a result of this arrest, that as a condition of release, he was told he could not drink until the hearing.

As you can see from the above, a judge, making some formal order or finding, would need to be involved; not just the police themselves.

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