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Public Intoxication

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Many people assume that as long as they don’t get behind the wheel and try driving home they don’t have to worry about how much they drink when they go out. While the decision to never drive after you’ve been drinking is always wise, that doesn’t mean you can get a plastered as you want. There is always a chance that your night of heavy drinking at the bar could result in you getting arrested for public intoxication in California.

The good news is that if you simply have one too many while you’re at the bar, you probably don’t have too much to worry about. California lawmakers have made it obvious that the only time legal concerns and public intoxication combine is when you’re so heavily under the influence of drugs or alcohol that you’re unable to keep yourself and others safe.

For example, if you’re so drunk that you aren’t aware of traffic and start walking down the middle of the road, you’ll be arrested and charged with public intoxication. The same is true if you get so drunk while you’re at the bar that your normal mild-mannered nature abandons you and you start making threats or behaving in a lewd manner.

Public intoxication in California is a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted, the maximum sentence is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. In many cases, the individual must perform a specified number of community service hours.

The good news about public intoxication is that it won’t impact your driving record. The bad news is that the charge could hurt your future. It’s possible that the charge will make it harder to qualify for scholarships, land your dream job, and be approved for an apartment rental.

The only way you can be charged with public intoxication in California is if you’re in a public area. That means the best way to avoid the charge is staying home when you decide you want to spend the evening drinking.

Public Intoxication Laws in California

Public Intoxication Laws in California

Public Intoxication Laws in California

Everyone knows that if you get behind the wheel and drive your car after you’ve had too much to drink that you’ll be arrested and have to deal with some serious legal consequences. What you might not know is that alcohol can get you into trouble even if you don’t plan on driving.

If you’re severely drunk (or under the influence of drugs) while in public, you could be charged with public intoxication in California.

The good news is that the police probably won’t arrest you just because you’ve had one too many and are walking home. However, if you’re the type of person who makes strange choices when you’re drunk, you’re night out could end with you getting locked in a jail cell.

In California, the police can arrest you if you for public intoxication if you’re in public and behaving in a way that could harm either yourself or others. Examples of this include darting into traffic, thinking you can use the side of a bridge as a balance beam, are standing in front of your ex’s place, and shouting.

In many cases, a public intoxication charge is paired with a disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct charges.

Public intoxication in California is a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted, you could be sentenced to six months in a county jail and/or charged up to $1,000 in fines. If you did any damage while you were publicly intoxicated, you’ll have to pay for the damages.

Everyone responds differently to alcohol. If you’re the type of person who handles it well and doesn’t get crazy after a night of drinking you probably don’t have to worry about getting arrested for public intoxication. However, if you do make poor choices after drinking, you should stay at home when you’re drinking or you should make sure you only go out with people who stay level-headed and will get you home before you get into too much trouble.

California Drunk in Public Laws

California Drunk in Public Laws

California Drunk in Public Laws

Most people like to go out and party from time to time. After all, it is nice to cut lose and forget about any responsibilities for the evening. Often times when people do this, they like to consume alcohol. There is nothing wrong with that. However, there are ways that people can get themselves into trouble with alcohol.

Everyone is aware of the obvious problems with drinking and driving, but there can also be problems for just being drunk and out in public. If a person is so drunk that they begin to risk their own safety or interfere with others, they can get into legal trouble.

California Penal Code 647f

California Penal Code (PC) 647 is the state’s law against disorderly conduct. This law covers things from begging for money to prostitution. One aspect of disorderly conduct that this law covers under section f is public intoxication.

PC 647f defines public intoxication as being any person in a public place who is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other controlled substance and is in a condition where they are unable to exercise care for their own safety, or the safety of others. This includes things such as stumbling along the sidewalk, almost falling into the street, or even passing out on the sidewalk and blocking people from using it.

This law does not prevent a person from getting drunk while out on the town. What it is aimed at is preventing a person from getting so drunk that they could hurt themselves or someone else. To get to this level of drunk, a person usually has to overdo their drinking. So, in order to avoid getting into trouble a person needs to be aware of their limits and not push things while out in public.

Penalties of Being Drunk in Public

Breaking PC 647 is a misdemeanor offense. This means that a person faces the following consequences:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.

It is possible for a person to get probation instead of jail time for this crime, but that is up to the case judge.

No matter how a person is punished for this crime, it goes on their criminal record. There, it will be visible to any potential employers, which means a drunk in public charge could cost a person a future job. It is really in a person’s best interest to not overdo things and wind up in trouble with the law.

Don’t Overdo It

Whenever a person decides to go drinking, they need to do so responsibly. That means not drinking too much so they don’t get to the point that they can’t take care of themselves. If they do that, and are out in public, they can get into trouble with law enforcement for disorderly conduct. Nobody wants that, especially since it sticks around on a person’s criminal record. No one wants to miss out on a job because of something dumb they did a long time ago.

What do you think of California’s take on disorderly conduct and being drunk in public? Are the laws too lenient, or are they too strict?