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Legal Question: What if I am on Probation for a DUI Charge but Failed to Report Alcohol Use?

QUESTION: I had a DUI charge and decided to go on a deferred prosecution. I receive a form every month asking me to report if I have used drugs or alcohol. The form states that it is signed under penalties of perjury. If I write “no”, and the court finds out that I drank or used drugs, can I be charged with perjury? Doesn’t this form violate my right against self-incrimination?

ANSWER: If you knowingly and intentionally put false information on a form, and then sign it under penalty of perjury, you are committing perjury. That being said, prosecuting attorneys very rarely file the criminal charge of perjury, so it seems unlikely you would face an actual charge for doing this.

As to answering questions about drug and alcohol use on a probation form, and being required to file these forms on a monthly basis as part of your deferred, being forced to use the form does not violate your privilege against self-incrimination. You agreed not to use drugs or alcohol as a condition of your deferred prosecution, and you agreed to have the probation department supervision to monitor your compliance with your treatment conditions.

You are also free to not answer that particular question on the probation reporting form, but that will certainly arouse suspicion that you are not complying with the no drugs and no alcohol requirement. The most likely ramification is that you will be called in for a urine test, and if it’s determined that you used drugs or alcohol, your deferred will probably be revoked. In that scenario, you would also be convicted of the underlying criminal DUI charge, and would be sentenced to jail, a fine, a driver’s license suspension, and will probably have to restart your probation.

If you are facing DUI/DWI charge, it is very important that you receive the best legal defense possible. The law firm of Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone has over 50 years of combined service to the community in defending DUI/DWI cases. Our legal team believes that all citizens accused of any crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We extend high quality and professional legal defense services to anyone accused of a wide array of criminal offenses, including all felonies, DUI/DWI, domestic violence charges, and all misdemeanors. Our normal coverage territories include Whatcom County, San Juan County, and Skagit County.

We offer a free one-hour consultation for criminal offenses and one of our lawyers will appear for free at your first court hearing. Please call (360) 685-4221 to schedule a meeting with one of our defense team members. Or reach us through our web info wiki here:


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