You get a promotion at your job and decide to go out with your friends to have a celebratory drink. One drink leads to the next and before you know it you are stumbling outside of the bar searching for your keys. Your friends try to convince you that driving is not the best option for you, so they pull at your purse. This frustrates you. Now you and your friends are having a screaming match outside of the bar regarding the level of alcohol you’ve consumed. You don’t agree that you are drunk so that leads you to become slightly more belligerent. If law enforcement happens to get involved, you may be arrested for public intoxication. Due to your intoxication possibly being a danger to others, many laws consider this a reasonable offense.
When you are out in a public setting and are behaving in a disorderly manner while under the influence, this is considered public intoxication. And this is a crime. There may not be much to explain about public intoxication as it is very clear in its name, however many people do not understand its depth.
Some people may consider public intoxication to be drunkenness only, but this is untrue. In order to be arrested for an alleged public intoxication charge, you must be in public, of course, and acting somewhat belligerent. Law enforcement has a duty to protect civilians and remove any threat, and public intoxication goes against those duties.
Public intoxication is the crime of appearing drunk and disorderly in public. Most states criminalize a drunken appearance in public in order to maintain order and civility in public spaces and to ensure that citizens are protected from individuals who may unwittingly harm others. Any place that is open to the general public is considered to be a place that you may be charged with this crime. If you are in your home this does not apply. The law varies from state to state so it is best to be sure what is considered the public so that you are well informed.
While public intoxication may not seem like a major offense, it is an offense that can appear on your criminal record and can be attached with other allegations if you are extremely disorderly. Jail time is an option in public intoxication cases, but with a skilled and reliable attorney you may be able to have charges reduced, or dropped and be subjected to fines and community service. If you or someone you know has been charged with public intoxication, speak with an DUI defense attorney Decatur, GA offers as soon as possible.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense, DUI charges, and public intoxication.