Three Tips to Avoid Breaking your Probation during the Holidays

Summary: On probation? Don’t let an overly festive holiday decision get you into legal trouble.

The holidays are a time for cheer, celebration, families and parties. They are meant to create fond memories of the season and the time spent together. What is meant as freedom during the holidays can be taken for granted.

This is especially true for somebody on probation. It is possible to fully enjoy your holidays while on probation. It is extremely important however, to enjoy them without breaking your probation rules.  Breaking probation has severe results that can dramatically change your future and the future of your family. 

Don’t Drink

Even if you are allowed to drink during your probation, try to skip it. Most poor decisions are made under the influence of drugs and alcohol. While sober, you may be fully aware of your probation limitations and rules. These may become convoluted as you consume alcohol. There is typically more alcohol consumed over the holiday than on a regular day. Let your host know that you will not be drinking. If you are not sure of alternate beverages, talk to the host about you being able to bring your own.  A creative juice or pop mocktail always makes a fantastic hosting gift as well as a great drink option for yourself (and others that choose to abstain).

Watch your Company

We’d all like to see our friends and family during the holiday season, but if they are part of the reason you got in trouble in the first place, settle for a phone call or email. Most probationary rules state that you must stay away from company that is considered dangerous or harmful. While you may not consider your friends or family harmful, your probation officer (and the court) might have a different opinion. No matter how much you would like to spend the holidays with certain friends or family members, if they are a bad influence, stay away from them.

Don’t Quit your Day Job

Your probation will include rules around acquiring and keeping a job. It’s very possible that your job will include shift and weekend work, including holidays. If you are scheduled to work over Christmas, try your best not to miss shifts. If you have a conflicting holiday party, let your host know you may be late or absent. The worst thing you can do is abandon your job during the holiday season. Your employers are depending on your accountability and your parole officer is using your job to prove that you can be reintroduced back into a regular routine. As with any job, the longer you remain employed by the same company, the more leverage you will have. Try to schedule your Christmas celebrations around your assigned work shifts.

Do not jeopardise your entire future over rash decisions.  With everything you have been through, it is important to relax and enjoy the holidays, however, it is also important to remember that you have rules to follow. Probation is a privilege, and it is not mandatory. Don’t end this holiday season with bad decisions and regret, instead start your new year with focus and determination.