Facebook Breathalyzer Post Leads to DUI Probation Violation

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on April 01, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Drinking and driving is never cool, but bragging on Facebook about drinking and passing a Breathalyzer test could lead to a DUI probation violation.

Colleen Cudney, 22, from Westland, Michigan, was already on probation for a 2012 drunk driving conviction. After she passed a random Breathalyzer test, Cudney bragged on Facebook that she had been drinking the day before but her "dumba@@" passed, according to Detroit's WDIV-TV.

Depending on the terms of the DUI probation, getting caught with alcohol in your system could be considered a probation violation.

DUI Probations

In general, probation is the suspension of a jail sentence that allows a person to remain in the community instead of going to jail. However, probation terms generally contain several court-ordered rules and conditions that must be followed. The length of probation varies by the severity of the offense and the state's laws, but for drunken driving offenses, it could be a year.

Some probation terms may include:

  • Regular meetings with your probation officer.
  • Appearing at scheduled court appearances.
  • Submitting to random drug or alcohol testing.

In Michigan, a judge can make drug or alcohol testing a condition of a OWVI or OWI probation order. If the person refuses to be tested, then it'll be a probation violation, says Michigan's 36th District Court.

For Cudney, she was called in by her probation officer for a random Breathalyzer test. Although she passed, her Facebook posts celebrating her "victory" were seen by police officers who then notified her probation officer, reports KDIV-TV.

Apparently, a condition of her probation was to abstain from consuming alcohol, and her probation officer wanted her to return for an urine test to check for alcohol in her system. Cudney responded by hanging up the phone, potentially violating her probation terms.

Random Breathalyzer Tests

While police aren't allowed to conduct Breathalyzer tests without reasonable suspicion or by court order, other entities may be allowed to do so. For example, it's likely legal for high schools to conduct random Breathalyzers tests at prom if the school lets both the parents and students know about the policy. Plus, schools have a significant interest in maintaining a drug and alcohol free environment.

Cudney has a probation hearing on April 1st and could be sentenced to jail time for her probation violation, according to WDIV-TV.

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