If I’m not supposed to drink but have to taste drinks on occasion since I’m employed as a bartender, what will happen?

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If I’m not supposed to drink but have to taste drinks on occasion since I’m employed as a bartender, what will happen?

I have an interlock in my car. I’ve passed breath test in it but when I met with my probation officer she said that it showed I had been drinking. I’m a bartender and sometimes I have to taste drinks. She said it’s a violation and I have to go back and see the judge. Am I going to jail?

Asked on August 4, 2015 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A couple of different things could happen... but it really depends on the judge's attitude and your probation officer.

Drinking, regardless of the reason, is a violation.  It doesn't matter that it's part of your occupation.  With that being said, the Court may allow you to continue working as a bar tender, but admonish you that you are not allowed to even sample the product-- period.  The judge could also require you to find employment that does not require you to taste test alcohol.  If the judge is aggravated that you drank, but just wants to send you a message, he could require you to spend some time in jail as a sanction for the violation.  If the judge is going to decide to revoke your probation, he is required to appoint you counsel and give you advance notice of a hearing on any motion to revoke. 

You may want to consider asking the court to use a different way of measuring alcohol consuption.  Many probation offices utilize SCRAM devices which consistently monitor your blood alcohol levels and will more accurately tell the court when you are using and how much.  The negative of this method is that it tends to be a bit pricy. 


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