This week Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., is settling back into life as a congressman, but with a caveat. After being charged with a misdemeanor cocaine possession in November, Radel is spending a majority of his happy new year on probation.
So what's that mean for the Twitter-happy Republican?
Already, he's paid a $250 fine and headed to rehab: the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Naples, Fla., which he left on Dec. 19.
Having satisfied those "special conditions," as they're called, Radel is under "minimal supervision," which means he could occasionally be tested for drugs.
"He is subject to random drug testing," explains Leonard Sipes, a senior public affairs officer at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. And, just like other offenders, Radel will have to report in person to a federal drug facility, in D.C., to pee in the cup
The congressman was drug tested once already, upon intake in November, Sipes said. He met with his community supervisor -- a.k.a. his probation officer -- and the terms of his probation were explained.
Mainly, Radel's responsibility during his probation will be staying in contact with his supervisor and the agency and, of course, staying clean. "As soon as he tests positive he goes back to the maximum drug testing schedule, he's bounced back up to a higher level of drug testing," Sipes warned.
Politically, Radel has other hurdles. Because of the bust, he's already attracted one primary opponent, former Fla. state Rep. Paige Kreegel, who announced his intention Tuesday to run against Radel in Florida's August primary. Additionally, Radel will have to shed the image of looking like a hypocrite. A month before the congressman's drug bust, Radel voted for GOP-supported legislation that would allow states to drug test food stamp recipients.
Radel, upon exiting rehab last month, said he supported members of Congress having to be drug tested, too. And lucky for Radel, he gets to be first in line.