Consciousness, morality and good manners – these are the things that distinguish us as human beings. We make an effort to exist in a healthy society, we work on our manners to educate our children in a better way, we choose to have an adequate behavior to prevent any kind of harm. Both state and local laws use various tools in order to preserve these values, and Public Intoxication Law is one of them.
Public Intoxication Law is a category of alcohol crimes that involves being intoxicated by alcohol in a public place. Intoxication in this context means having blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over legal limit of 0.08%, or being under the influence of drugs or prescribed medications. The term of public place includes indoors and outdoors areas, that are privately or publicly owned, generally open and accessible to people. In other words, Public Intoxication (also known as “drunk and disorderly”) is a law offense rated to public cases or a demonstration of drunkenness. State laws vary in the specifications where a person is allowed to consume beverages.
What kind of behavior might be classified, as “drunk and disorderly”?
- You appeared or seem to be drunk or under the influence;
- You are losing mental and physical abilities;
- You can cause harm, injury, or disturbances to the public;
- You have an offensive conduct that annoys another person;
- You are making unreasonable noises to disrupt the public and refusing to comply with a lawful order from the police;
- You seem so out of control that you don’t appear to be able to take care of yourself;
- Any other kind of disorderly conduct.
Legal Penalties for Public Intoxication
Public Intoxication is classified as a misdemeanor that may result in a criminal fines and/or sentence in a county jail for no greater than one year. In addition, repeated offense can cause serious consequences each time.
A more severe violation is when it comes to an individual under the age of 21 (the legal age for drinking according to Zero Tolerance Law). However, the penalties vary from state to state. Possible legal penalties for this type of offense might be: citing the individual and escorting them home, taking the individual to jail or a “detoxification” center; imprisonment up to one year; probation, requiring the individual to post bail prior to release from jail; a criminal record.
There is some bothering statistics: approximately 16.6 million adults ages 18 and older had an AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder) in 2013. This includes 10.8 million men, and 5.8 million women. About 1.3 million adults received treatment for an AUD at a specialized facility in 2013 (7.8 percent of adults who needed treatment).
Public Intoxication Defenses
In order to defense yourself of charges, you can use following explanations:
- Public Intoxication is not a crime in the place where you are located (some of the states do not have public intoxication statues: like Nevada, Montana, Missouri);
- You are not drunk or under the influence, you were just acting drunk. You can claim that your behavior was generated by some enthusiasm over an exciting event in your life;
- You are cited for Public Intoxication while in a private place.
Social customs, ethics and laws prosecute drinking alcohol in public and causing disturbance to the community you are a part of, so better consider following these rules. Sometimes officers seem to overuse this law, that’s why it is extremely important to know your legal rights and being able to stand for them.
If you are accused of Drinking in Public or Public Intoxication, don’t hesitate to ask for legal help. Let some qualified attorneys handle your case and help you get through your troubles. All you have to do is go to Legal Bistro, create an account and describe your case. Don’t forget that you remain absolutely anonymous until you decide to reveal your identity to the lawyer that you choose!
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