Anyone who has been around a college campus, college bars and houses around 2 am on a weekend can attest to the fact that its not uncommon to see college aged kids who have clearly had too much to drink. They may be weaving down the sidewalk, throwing up, or just generally being loud and obnoxious. It is also not uncommon to see those same inebriated people get arrested for public intoxication a few moments later.
Though the severity of the offense and the penalty for a conviction of public intoxication may vary depending on the state, there are basic principles behind the offense. Generally speaking, and this may seem obvious from the title, to convict you of public intoxication the government must prove that you were both 1. in public, and 2. clearly intoxicated. What constitutes a public place for purpose of the statute generally depends on its openness to the public. For example, a private club that is closed to the public, such as one that requires membership, won’t be considered a public place for purpose of the statute. Also some states have specific requirements that the intoxicated person must be a nuisance to the public. That requires other people being around, and that the intoxicated persons behavior interfere in some way with their enjoyment of the public space.
As for intoxication, there is no specific level of intoxication such as a BAC level that determines whether someone is per se intoxicated. These statutes are usually not limited to just alcohol, as being under the influence of drugs, with or without alcohol, will satisfy the intoxicated prong of the statute as well. Whether someone is intoxicated is generally a judgment of reasonableness. For the most part, you know it when you see it. And as stated above, some states public intoxication statutes require that the intoxicated person be a nuisance to others, so if the behavior is nothing that would bother the other people there, in those states a public intoxication charge would be improper.
If you or a loved one has been charged with public intoxication, consult with an attorney. An experienced attorney can help fight the charges, get them dismissed, or pursue alternative remedies that may avoid a conviction altogether. Attorney Frank Walker is a lawyer you can trust to fight for you. With offices in Pittsburgh, PA and Morgantown, WV, Attorney Walker has years of experience providing zealous representation to college students and the general public. Call 412-532-6805 to reach the Pittsburgh office or (304) 712-2089 for the office in Morgantown. Call today!
About Frank Walker Law
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.
If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.